Lockheed Martin opens advanced manufacturing site for Orion spacecraft

Lockheed Martin NASA STAR Centre
Lockheed Martin opens advanced manufacturing site for Orion spacecraft
Fin Strathern is an editor at TechForge Media. You can connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/finstrathern/.

Aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin has opened its Spacecraft Test, Assembly and Resource (STAR) Centre to expand production for NASA’s Orion spacecraft programme.

The facility, based in Titusville, Florida, will be a “digitally transformed factory of the future” says Lockheed.

“The STAR Centre is a spacecraft factory of the future and is the centrepiece of our commitment to build sustainable and affordable capabilities for NASA to send astronauts to explore the Moon and eventually Mars,” said Lisa Callahan, commercial civil space VP and general manager at Lockheed Martin Space.

“We are using advanced manufacturing capabilities and digital-first technologies to speed production and improve quality to get Orion from factory to space faster than ever before.”

Through integration with Lockheed Martin’s Intelligent Factory Framework (IFF), the STAR Centre will use edge computing that “secures, scales and standardizes device connectivity” throughout numerous IT platforms.

Lockheed Martin STAR Centre's AR in action

Lockheed Martin has already deployed IFF to seven of its sites and intends to roll it out across the full company.

In addition, 30 machines at the centre will be connected to the IFF, as well as machines at NASA’s Operations and Checkout Building, giving all production team members at both facilities real-time access to valuable data.

The STAR Centre also employs remote access, monitoring and alerting technologies for equipment, plus smart tools such as the use of AR and VR.

Almost $20 million (£14.6m) has been spent modernising the space which used to house an astronaut training experience attraction, with work now set to begin on developing the new Orion Artemis III spacecraft scheduled to launch in 2024.

Want to find out more from executives and thought leaders in this space? Find out more about the Digital Twin World event, taking place on 8-9 September 2021, which will explore augmenting business outcomes in more depth and the industries that will benefit.

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