Lockheed Martin to build $350M futuristic satellite factory – www.localmemphis.com

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Lockheed Martin is spending massive cash to build the subsequent technology 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 house 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 might be completed in 2020, as a giant leap ahead. One cause is as a result of the power will carry key elements of satellite manufacturing beneath one roof.

After it builds a satellite, Lockheed Martin wants to check the know-how in a particular thermal vacuum chamber that simulates the unforgiving circumstances in house. 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 full of improvements," stated Rick Ambrose, the manager vp of Lockheed Martin Area Programs, in a information launch. "We'll have the option to build satellites that talk with entrance-line troops, discover different planets, and help distinctive missions."

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

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

Lockheed Martin expects it's going to make use of about ,500 building contractors over the three-yr constructing part.

The Maryland firm has already been boosting its ranks of engineers and help employees on the Colorado-based mostly house division, having added round 750 jobs since 2014. It says the brand new constructing will "accommodate that current development and new future tasks."

Lockheed Martin is likely to be an enormous within the house enterprise, however different corporations have grown in recent times to create a harder and extra crowded trade.

The plane producer Airbus lately joined forces with a Florida startup known as OneWeb in an effort to ship small satellites into orbit beginning subsequent March. The challenge, 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 house exploration firm -- has for years been engaged on a plan to launch 1000's of small satellites into house to enhance web service. These satellites might begin launching as early as 2019, in accordance to media stories.

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