Lockheed Martin recently opened their STAR Center at the former Astronaut Experience (ATX) attraction location. Now they are moving forward with plans to construct another factory building near their offices and AstroTech.
Lockheed Martin built the STAR Center to support the production of Orion capsules for NASA‘s Artemis program. This facility is located just across the Indian River from Kennedy Space Center. A little further inland lies the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company office building. Lockheed Martin is getting prepared to construct a new factory-type building just south of their office. Referred to as Building 819, this facility will sit next to an existing office building and warehouse.
The plans show this area being developed in two phases. The first phase involves creating a parking lot. Satellite imagery shows construction has already begun on the area for this phase; this looks to have started in late June.
Phase two will see the construction of the factory building alongside some additional parking.
It is not known what this facility will be used for at this time. Given its proximity to the Lockheed Space Systems office and the new STAR Center, it could support Orion or other Lockheed Martin spacecraft. The new STAR Center will work directly with the Lockheed Martin operations going on at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at KSC. The STAR Center will provide the following:
- Assembly and test of Orion aeroshell heat shield and backshell panels
- Crew module and crew module adapter wire harness fabrication and testing
- Propulsion and environmental control and life support systems assembly and testing
- Electrical ground support equipment protection
Image Credit: Lockheed Martin
The STAR Center exists in what was previously the Astronaut Experience attraction. They gutted the building and outfitted it with the following:
- Class 7 clean room
- Proof pressure cell for testing spacecraft readiness
- 9k sqft high bay with overhead gantry crane
- Newly constructed machine shop
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