Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems have announced a partnership for providing from 2012 a new ‘C’ version of the Athena rocket using ATK’s Castor 30 solid rocket motor and new electronics. Its low Earth orbit payload capability is about 1,700kg (3,700lb) making it similar to Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 1e and its 1,010kg to LEO ability. Interestingly the Lockheed official qouted in the release is human spaceflight vice president John Karas – a hint at partnerships yet to come? NASA administrator Charles Bolden has said that the extra $300 million odd in the fiscal year 2011 budget request for the agency’s Commercial Orbtial Transportation Services (COTS) programme is for recompeting COTS to allow other potential providers to join the commercial programme
Lockheed Martin and ATK Announce 2nd Generation
Athena Launch Vehicles
Athena to fill Critical Niche in Affordable Rockets – Available for Launch in 2012
Denver, March 25, 2010 – Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) and Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), have entered into a strategic teaming agreement to offer launch services utilizing upgraded and modernized Athena rockets. These vehicles, based on the flight-proven Athena I and II, are designed to provide reliable access to space for small payloads ...