Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

New contract awarded for space shuttle External Tanks
Posted: November 2, 2000

A file image of an external fuel tank. Photo: Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company -- Michoud Operations has completed negotiations with NASA for the production of 35 additional External Tanks for the Space Shuttle Program at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The contract, worth approximately $1.15 billion, is for External Tank production and the operation and maintenance of the Michoud Assembly Facility. The contract period of performance extends through September 30, 2006.

The External Tank is the largest single element and the only major non-reusable component of the shuttle system. At 154 feet long and 28 feet in diameter, the External Tank is the structural backbone of the Space Shuttle system and carries over 530,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen for use in the orbiteršs three main engines.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company -- Michoud Operations designs and assembles large aluminum and composite structures for aerospace and other applications, including the Space Shuttle External Tank and the X-33 technology demonstration vehicle.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics, and technology services.