Lockheed Martin to build $350M futuristic satellite factory – Dothan First

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Lockheed Martin is spending large cash to build the following era of satellites.

The protection and aerospace firm introduced Wednesday that it has began constructing a $350 million facility on its Waterton Canyon campus close to Denver, Colorado. It is a new 266,000-square-foot "factory of the long run" that Lockheed Martin says will permit it to make satellites sooner and for much less cash.

The corporate is a stalwart presence within the satellite and area industries. Proper now, for instance, it is making GPS III satellites for the U.S. Air Drive and a Mars lander for NASA.

Nevertheless it's touting the brand new campus, which shall be completed in 2020, as a giant leap ahead. One purpose is as a result of the ability will convey key elements of satellite manufacturing underneath one roof.

After it builds a satellite, Lockheed Martin wants to take a look at the know-how in a particular thermal vacuum chamber that simulates the unforgiving circumstances in area. Proper now it takes about two days to transfer a freshly constructed satellite to a testing location, in accordance to spokesman Matt Kramer.

That transfer will take about an hour on the new facility, he added.

"That is our factory of the long run: agile, environment friendly and filled with improvements," mentioned Rick Ambrose, the chief vice chairman of Lockheed Martin Area Programs, in a information launch. "We'll give you the option to build satellites that talk with entrance-line troops, discover different planets, and assist distinctive missions."

The corporate says the constructing could have sufficient room to build a variety of satellites each large and small.

Ambrose bragged concerning the new development bay in his assertion, which he mentioned may match the Area Shuttle with "room to spare." It's giant sufficient to build 5 of Lockheed Martin's largest satellites, which could be greater than 20 toes tall, all on the identical time.

Lockheed Martin expects it should make use of about ,500 development contractors over the three-12 months constructing section.

The Maryland firm has already been boosting its ranks of engineers and assist workers on the Colorado-based mostly area division, having added round 750 jobs since 2014. It says the brand new constructing will "accommodate that current progress and new future initiatives."

Lockheed Martin is perhaps a large within the area enterprise, however different firms have grown in recent times to create a more durable and extra crowded business.

The plane producer Airbus not too long ago joined forces with a Florida startup referred to as OneWeb in an effort to ship small satellites into orbit beginning subsequent March. The mission, which the businesses hope will ship the web across the globe, additionally nabbed a $ billion funding from Japan's SoftBank.

After which, in fact, there's Elon Musk. SpaceX -- the tech billionaire's personal area exploration firm -- has for years been engaged on a plan to launch hundreds of small satellites into area to enhance web service. These satellites may begin launching as early as 2019, in accordance to media reviews.

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