Lockheed wins $2B contract for South Pole project

Lockheed Martin is heading to one of the coldest, highest, and driest places on Earth to ensure the safety of up to 1,000  U.S. Antarctic program participants.

The contractor will modernize technologies to transport scientists, staff and supplies to and from the Antarctic region, under a new contract worth up to $2 billion to support the U.S. Antarctica research program.  It will provide a range of duties from keeping computer networks running in the challenging conditions to installing light bulbs and bringing in food and supplies. Exact technological innovations to be used have not been announced yet.

Lockheed will work with the National Science Foundation in the multi-year contract to install a cost-effective streamlined infrastructure for managing the three work stations and medical facilities, research vessels, construction projects and remote sites in and around Antarctica, according to a company announcement.

NSF manages the program and provides the logistics and infrastructure for federal agencies to conduct their research there.

“We have a longstanding history of supporting customers in remote locations and logistically challenging environments and are committed to fostering scientific and technological innovations that will benefit the world,” said Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business, in a company statement.

Lockheed is drawing upon its space travel experience and expertise in extreme environments to help with its work in Antarctica, according to a recent Federal News Radio interview.

"A really bad day at the South Pole is like a really, really nice day on Mars," said Rick Hieb, vice president of information systems and global solutions for Lockheed Martin and a former astronaut.

To learn more about the program visit here.

Lockheed Martin, of Bethesda, Md., ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

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