Lockheed Wins Contract to Build NASA's New Spaceship, Washington Post
"But it was blamed for the 1999 disappearance of the Mars Climate Orbiter, which vanished into space or burned up in the Mars atmosphere after Lockheed engineers incorrectly programmed it using English rather than metric units. When the Genesis space capsule crashed in 2004, NASA said it was because of errors in designs prepared by the company. Lockheed's earlier effort to build a shuttle replacement -- the X-33 "space plane" -- was canceled in 2001 after it ran into technological and cost problems."
"The last time NASA awarded a manned spaceship contract to Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., was in 1996 for a spaceplane that was supposed to replace the space shuttle. NASA spent $912 million and the ship, called X-33, never got built because of technical problems. Lockheed Martin Vice President John Karas said his company will succeed with Orion compared to its failure with X-33, because "we're not shooting as far... I'd say it (Orion) is within reach."
Editor's note: somehow this comment by Mr. Karas just doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.