Today, NASA announced a new contract for Lockheed Martin Space Systems to conduct a new flight test of the Orion spacecraft in early 2014. U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter released the following statement supporting this announcement:
Perlmutter stated, "The United States is a nation of vision and exploration. Additional investment in this next generation of space travel will power our economic security and prosperity and will lead us in a new era of American dominance in space exploration. This new contract ensures a significant number of jobs in Colorado and has a positive impact on our national security and economy."
Perlmutter led the Colorado Congressional delegation's efforts last year to save funding for continuing the Orion space capsule project which employs approximately1,000 people working with Lockheed Martin and other local aerospace companies based in Colorado. This project is an engine for innovation and private sector economic growth throughout the state of Colorado.
This new Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1, will fly two orbits to a high-apogee, with a high-energy re-entry through Earth's atmosphere. The test mission will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to acquire critical re-entry flight performance data and demonstrate early integration capabilities that benefit the Orion, Space Launch System, and 21st Century Ground Systems programs. The agency has posted a synopsis explaining its intention on NASA's procurement website.