Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Lockheed Martin has leased the building that formerly held the Astronaut Training Experience in Titusville from Delaware North. They are now in the process of renovating the facility to turn it into a light manufacturing facility for NASA’s Orion spacecraft program.
Lockheed Martin Corp. is planning to repurpose the former astronaut museum & space camp into a factory that will be used to build parts of the Orion spacecraft, which will send astronauts to the Moon with the Artemis Mission
Kelly DeFazio, Lockheed Martin Director of Orion Production, said, "Work includes sub-assembly manufacturing and test for Orion spacecraft thermal protection system (TPS), avionic harness cabling, and tubing for propulsion and the environmental control and life support system. Additionally, will house the Orion production management team and provide high-fidelity training capabilities for the manufacturing team."
"Many of us drive by this property every day and even went to space camp at this facility," Kelly says, "and we’re excited to re-purpose it into the Lockheed Martin Orion manufacturing facility supporting NASA’s Artemis deep space exploration missions."
Lockheed Martin currently assembles Orion on the Kennedy Space Center and this new facility will allow them to expand their capability as they move into the new production phase of the project.
NASA awarded Lockheed Martin in September 2019 with a follow-on contract for the production and operation of Orion spacecraft, beginning with Artemis 3 mission which will launch in 2024. As part of this Orion production and operations contract, NASA will order the production and operations of Orion spacecraft for at least six missions, with the ability to order up to an additional six missions, taking Orion and Artemis well into the 2030’s.
The 46,000-square-foot project is roughly ten miles away from Kennedy Space Center. The latest project will expand Lockheed Martin’s footprint in the area, which also includes the business’s Orlando campuses and Fleet Ballistic Missile Headquarters
Boeing Co.’s Space and Launch Division headquarters is also right down the road
The Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control plant in Orlando develops and manufactures aerospace and defense systems for the U.S. Armed Forces and allies, including missile, rocket, and radar technologies. Lockheed Martin Rotary Mission Systems is the company’s “center of excellence for training,” according to the company website, and develops flight simulators and other training systems.
The defense company employs about 8,000 people in Orlando and works with 300 suppliers there.