Lockheed Martin Corp. is considering flying commercial payloads on the Orion spacecraft, set to blast off for deep space in 2020, and is asking for input to determine if this is doable.
Bethesda-based Lockheed (NYSE: LMT), the world’s largest defense contractor, said Friday it wanted input from both domestic and international organizations on ideas for commercial payloads that would fly on one of Orion’s upcoming missions to the moon and back.
Why is this significant? The market analysis is the first step toward the company’s vision of fostering a lunar economy — bringing commercial opportunities to deep space and seeding a thriving commercial marketplace beyond low-Earth orbit.
The payloads could be for science, STEM initiatives, arts and entertainment, data or any other commercial endeavor, Lockheed said. Payloads can be flown in the interior crew cabin or mounted to the exterior and can be static or deployable.
“Orion represents unprecedented opportunity for science,…Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.