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Lockheed Martin Takes Students and Teachers on a Virtual Journey to the Moon With the Orion Spacecraft

July 28, 2008

DENVER, July 28 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin, the Space Foundation and SpaceClass announced today the launch of a strategic online education collaboration called Orion’s Path. The interactive virtual classroom project will form a link between teachers, students and NASA’s human space exploration program known as Constellation.

Orion is the crew exploration vehicle being designed and built by NASA and its prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The spacecraft will be the flagship of NASA’s Constellation Program, which is comprised of the vehicles and systems that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station and conduct sustained human exploration of the moon and Mars.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to our partnership with NASA to extend human presence throughout our solar system and we are very pleased to support this new education tool that will draw students in to the exciting world of space exploration,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “It is extremely important to the future of our country that we engage students and teachers at every level of science, math and technology if we are to sustain the next generation of scientists and space explorers. We are delighted to partner with SpaceClass and the Space Foundation to deliver this robust educational resource,” said Maguire.

Orion’s Path is an interactive lesson on SpaceClass — the only web-based education program using videos and virtual science labs to engage students in research being conducted for space exploration. Lesson contents meet National Learning Standards for middle school grades, and use of the site is free to teachers.

The Orion spacecraft is featured in lively video segments in Orion’s Path. Students get an in-depth look at Constellation vehicles and how they will work; hear from a lunar habitat and spacesuit expert; meet an astronaut who explains why it is important to explore the moon and beyond; and learn about making oxygen and water from the resources found on the moon. Finally, students take Orion to Mars and compare the geology, gravity, temperatures and other special features of the red planet to those of the moon.

Lockheed Martin provided both funding and significant technical expertise in the partnership and development of Orion’s Path. The Space Foundation contributed additional resources to the site for teachers who require more in-depth information about space science topics. The program delivery is located on the SpaceClass website at http://www.spaceclass.org/.

“The Space Foundation is pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin on this exciting education activity that brings space exploration to a new level of accuracy and realism for students and teachers,” said Elliot G. Pulham, president and chief executive officer, Space Foundation. “Orion’s Path will help inspire students who will be the space explorers of the future.”

The online program is one of numerous educational programs Lockheed Martin supports to encourage and inspire students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion. For more information, visit http://www.lockheedmartin.com/.

Founded in 1983 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Space Foundation is an international nonprofit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity. The Space Foundation fosters educational enterprises that bring space in to the classroom through its Space Discovery Institute, Teacher Liaison program, annual Space Career Fair, and free online lesson bank for educators. For more information, visit http://www.spacefoundation.org/.

SpaceClass Inc., a Colorado-based company founded in 2004, is the only web-based education program combining videos and animated virtual science labs that engage students in research actually being conducted for future space missions. Students work online with simulations of technology being developed for journeys into space as well as for improving life on Earth. Lessons include Orion’s Path, Journey to a Black Hole, Asteroid Challenge: Target Earth, Bones in Space, and Mission to Mars. For more information, visit http://www.spaceclass.org/.

    Media Contacts:    Joan Underwood    Lockheed Martin Space Systems    Office 303-971-7398; Mobile 303-594-7073    email, joan.b.underwood@lmco.com    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/     Beth McKnight    SpaceClass    Office 206-780-1049, Mobile 303-709-5337    email, beth@mcknightcommunications.com    http://www.spaceclass.org/     Kendra Horn    Space Foundation    Office 719-576-8000; Mobile 719-433-4007    email, kendra@spacefoundation.org    http://www.spacefoundation.org/  

Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Joan Underwood of Lockheed Martin Space Systems,+1-303-971-7398, or cell, +1-303-594-7073, joan.b.underwood@lmco.com; or BethMcKnight of SpaceClass, +1-206-780-1049, or cell, +1-303-709-5337,beth@mcknightcommunications.com, for Lockheed Martin; or Kendra Horn of SpaceFoundation, +1-719-576-8000, cell, +1-719-433-4007,kendra@spacefoundation.org

Web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/http://www.spacefoundation.org/http://www.spaceclass.org/




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