The most recent scientific breakthrough following the discovery of water on Mars allowed for Marillyn Hewson, president, chairman, and chief executive officer of defense contractor at Lockheed Martin, to announce the company’s plans concerning their space initiatives.
Lockheed Martin has been involved in every NASA mission to Mars and has even manufactured the three current NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. Their manufacturing efforts include the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which was identified as the orbiter responsible for identifying liquid on Mars’ surface.
While several systems and tools on the Mars Reconnaissance were developed by independent companies and universities, Lockheed Martin actually built the spacecraft and integrated those technologies.
The next NASA Mars Lander is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and Lockheed Martin is wrapping up their final assembling and testing efforts. The purpose of this new Mars lander is to “dig into the surface of Mars with the hope of finding clues that explain the evolutionary processes that shaped the planets of the inner solar system.”
Hewson was asked on Tuesday if the breakthrough on Mars means continued business opportunity, and her response was simply, “Yes, absolutely.”
According to an article in Fortune, Lockheed Martin’s space system’s sales last year were $8.1 billion, up from 8 billion in 2013.
The mission to Mars is ground-breaking, but it is also anticipated to be a relatively slow process.