NASA names Lockheed Martin as the prime contractor for its Orion crew exploration vehicle, the craft scheduled to return Americans to the moon by 2020. About $8 billion of your money will go to the Bethesda, MD-based aircraft giant. Hard-luck story Boeing, rumored to have been on the shortlist, walks away with bupkes once again.
Here are some views of Orion's projected Apollo-style design. Very long-lived moon-men may recognize the vehicle when it arrives, provided they don't have lunar alzheimer's—at this rate, it will be about 50 years between moon landings. Which should actually work out pretty well: As the blockbuster John F. Kennedy-James Webb transcripts made absolutely, inarguably clear, the only purpose in landing men on the moon was to prove we could beat the Russians. We're now on a pace to prove (just barely) that we can beat the Chinese in the exact same race. As Wooderson says: I get older, they stay the same age.