Author Topic: Lockheed seeing payoff from investments in commercial space technology  (Read 66 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Space News by Sandra Erwin — October 11, 2017

Being an investor in Terran Orbital creates “opportunities for strategic technology insertion,” says Lockheed's CTO Keoki Jackson.

ARLINGTON, VA — Electronics in small packages can do big things in space. That sort of sums up the thinking behind defense industry giant Lockheed Martin’s move to invest in commercial companies that build tiny satellites and sensors, and develop data-crunching software.

The Orion deep-space exploration vehicle that Lockheed Martin is building for NASA will have miniature infrared focal plane arrays to, one day, map the surface of the moon. These are the some of the technologies that keep getting cheaper and better thanks to commercial innovations, said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin’s chief technology officer who previously ran many of the company’s military space programs.

“We are happy to have access to low-cost satellite technology,” Jackson told reporters Oct. 11.

Lockheed is a $45 billion corporation with the majority of its business coming from government contracts. Last year company leaders decided to set aside about $100 million to invest in promising commercial technologies. One recent pick was Terran Orbital, a California-based manufacturer of nanosatellites.

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