A consortium led by Lockheed Martin will build the next spaceship to take humans to the Moon. Nasa has awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to the group to develop the Orion vehicle, which will replace the space shuttle when it retires in 2010.
The agency is dropping the shuttle’s winged, reusable design and is going back to the capsule-style ships that first carried Americans into orbit.
Lockheed Martin beat a joint bid from Northrop Grumman and Boeing.
The first Orion vehicles should fly in 2014 or soon after.
They will launch aboard one-time-use, "single stick" rockets, called Ares, that Nasa is developing.