NASA on Thursday awarded a multibillion dollar contract to build a manned lunar spaceship to Lockheed Martin Corp., which usually builds rockets without people.
The last time NASA awarded a manned spaceship contract to Lockheed Martin was in 1996 for a spaceplane that was supposed to replace the space shuttle. NASA spent $912 million (Ђ710 million) and the ship, called X-33, never got built because of technical problems.
The U.S. space agency chose Lockheed Martin, the biggest government aerospace and defense contractor, to build the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which is once again supposed to replace the space shuttle fleet, take astronauts to the moon and perhaps on to Mars, reports AP.
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