Lockheed Martin announced on Dec. 14 that it has been selected to compete for task orders under the Air Force’s orbital/suborbital small and medium space lift program in support of government missions.
According to a company statement, Lockheed’s Athena launch vehicle family has been selected under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
“Athena combines the launch systems heritage and expertise of both Lockheed Martin and ATK while making key upgrades to bring an affordable, reliable vehicle to this important space launch market,” said Robert Cleave, president of Lockheed Martin commercial launch services.
The two-stage Athena I and three-stage Athena II vehicles selected fulfill the Air Force’s requirements for domestic launch services in “Lane 1” of the procurement and have payloads of up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms).
These rockets use ATK’s flight-proven CASTOR 120® for Stage I and Stage II. They could be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska.
The OSP-3 program utilizes commercial and/or Government Furnished Property motors to enhance the capability and flexibility of small- and medium-class orbital and sub-orbital vehicle launch.