Lockheed Martin's space business has begun to consider the possibility of providing companies and researchers a chance to fly experiments aboard NASA's Orion spacecraft, the Denver Business Journal reported Thursday.
Orion is scheduled to launch in 2020 atop the Space Launch System for an unmanned flight test as part of Exploration Mission-1 and take off two years later for the crewed EM-2 mission around the moon.
Rob Chambers, director of human space flight strategy at Lockheed Martin Space, said the company would like to evaluate experimental concepts research organizations and commercial partners would propose to place inside the Orion capsule.
“We're trying to figure out what the market value is for these early exploration missions,“ Chambers added.
The report said NASA's European counterpart is slated to hand over the service module this month for integration with Orion, which is expected to be transported to the space agency's test laboratories in Ohio later this year.