The cost of the Orion crew exploration vehicle
that will carry up to six astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS)
from March 2015 has increased by $385 million and it will take two more years to design.
This is because of a NASA
requested engineering change proposal issued on 15 December 2006. Because of this change NASA has extended its $3.9 billion five-year contract, won by Lockheed Martin last August
, to design, test and build Orion, by two years and increased its total cost to about $4.3 billion.
Two test flights of Orion’s Orbital Sciences designed launch abort system
have also been added, increasing the cost. NASA announced the cost increase late on Friday 20 April.