The successor to the Space Shuttle...a spacecraft that was a craft of compromises.
"The Space Shuttle was sold by NASA to America in the early 1970's as a low-cost, reusable spaceship that would replace all existing boosters and manned spacecraft. The Apollo capsule and Saturn launch vehicles were scrapped. Production of all other expendable boosters would be discontinued once the Shuttle was 'fully operational'. The myth of its lower cost was maintained in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary until the shuttle Challenger exploded on the way to orbit in 1986. In the post-mortem that followed, it was discovered that the shuttle was actually more expensive and very much more operationally constraining in delivering satellites to orbit than the expendable boosters it was supposed to replace. So the American government abandoned use of the Shuttle for satellite launches and allowed production of expendable launch vehicles to resume."
Lockheed would assemble in Florida if Awarded bid.
"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Wednesday that it would build NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in Florida if selected by the space agency as prime contractor for the multibillion-dollar space shuttle-replacement project later this year.
John Karas, Lockheed Martin vice president for space exploration, made the announcement in Cape Canaveral, Fla., in front of an audience of state and local officials including Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.
“Lockheed Martin’s proposal to do final assembly and checkout of the Crew Exploration Vehicle — CEV for short — reinforces what we believe is the absolute advantage Florida has to offer as a location as we look toward the maturing of our nation’s space industry,” Jennings said."