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From strength tostrength 8 www. bus- ex. com June 09

Operational excellence: Lockheed Martin G lobal security and information technology company Lockheed Martin has a proud pedigree of operations in the space sector- not only building an array of weather satellites that monitor the earth's weather systems, but taking the lead on many space programs, from building the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to constructing many of the NASA spacecraft that have gone to Mars. Its current challenge is designing and building the Orion spacecraft, which is scheduled to replace the Space Shuttle, while the satellite division is in the early stages of designing and developing the next generation of GPS satellites. The story of Lockheed Martin's involvement in the weather monitoring program began back in the 1950s when heritage company RCA, working at the cutting edge of space technology, developed the world's first weather satellite, TIROS- 1 ( Television Infrared Observational Satellite). Since the launch of that pilot spacecraft on April 1, 1960, the company has exclusively built every low- earth-orbiting weather satellite used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA), a total of 43 in all, the most recent of which was launched on February 6, 2009, by NASA from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Today's satellites come at a cost of around $ 550 million for the construction of the craft, the scientifi c instruments and launch vehicle. " One interesting aspect of the overall cost is that the design life of our satellites is two years," explains TIROS program director Jeff Vanden Beukel. " However, they tend to last much longer than that. In some cases they've lasted as long as 14 years, and that allows the government to save money by not having to launch a replacement as often." An enormous number of parts go into the construction of a satellite, which then takes roughly three years to assemble and test, and the testing stage is prolonged and rigorous. Not only does every instrument and working part require extensive testing, but all aspects of the launch and space environment have to be simulated to ensure the craft and June 09 www. bus- ex. com 9 Jeff Vanden Beukel, director of Lockheed Martin's TIROS program, tells Gay Sutton how an isolated workplace incident led to a recovery program that improved manufacture and test processes, strengthened management and enhanced the company's reputation for excellence