Lockheed Martin begins construction of new satellite factory


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Capitalism in space: Lockheed Martin has begun construction of a $350 million satellite factory in Colorado, with expected completion in 2020.

At the moment, Lockheed does not have a competitive rocket. Moreover, its only big space project is Orion, which might never fly more than twice, if that. Thus, this shift to satellites makes some sense, as it will be difficult now for the company to gain market share in the launch and manned spacecraft markets. It is too far behind. However, there is a new industry developing in smallsats, and Lockheed is well positioned to get in at the start.

Update: I do this all the time, but I made a mistake here and assigned the Delta family of rockets to Lockheed Martin. For some reason I make this mistake often, switching Atlas 5 and Delta and Lockheed Martin and Boeing. I apologize for the error.

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5 comments

  • Orion314

    I do wonder what the business attraction for CO is.. Mining, I can understand , satellites? Hmmm…

  • Edward

    Orion314,
    Lockheed Martin (LM) is slowly moving work from its Sunnyvale, California, facility to properties that they already own in Colorado. Sunnyvale and California is an expensive place to work, and the property there is very valuable; the company has been selling off land there for several years.

    Interestingly, two decades ago, in the Sunnyvale location, Lockheed Martin built their “factory of the future” (as the linked LM press release calls their new Colorado facility). I guess that this Colorado facility will make the Sunnyvale one into a factory of the past.

  • aeroeng14

    The Delta family was Boeing’s design. Atlas V (the cheaper one of the EELV program and still competitive today) was Lockheed’s. Kind of an obvious mistake these days…

    LM has been out of the launch business for over a decade now once ULA was formed and Orion was never going to be a commercial capsule by any stretch of the imagination. Lockheed’s Geo-satellite business has been going quite strong with some recent commercial wins the last few years along with their perpetual JPL (Just Pay Lockheed) spacecraft.

  • aeroeng14: You are 100% right. I have corrected the post and published a mea culpa. For reasons I cannot explain, I often switch the makers of Delta and Atlas 5, no matter how many times I check and correct myself. Usually I do this before posting. My mistake here was not to check. I won’t make that mistake again.

  • pzatchok

    Unless they start dropping their prices someone is going to step in and take their business.

    Launch prices are falling like rocks and so should satellite prices. Things being equal.

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