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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 29th, 2005 -- NASA and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) successfully completed a Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) Design Certification Review (DCR) that identified all remaining work that must be completed in order to certify ET Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) prior to the STS-114 Flight Readiness Review in April and launch scheduled for no earlier than May 15.

The DCR Board, consisting of senior NASA and industry representatives, reviewed the activities to date, identified open items and accepted the proposed plan to complete remaining work. The remaining work includes completion of additional testing and analysis, evaluation of existing test data, updates to documentation and a final review of paperwork.

“Completion of the DCR is as significant a milestone as the delivery of the first Return to Flight ET,” said Ron Wetmore, Lockheed Martin vice president of the ET project. “It validates our approach to TPS certification and brings us one important step closer to flying the Space Shuttle in May.”

Lockheed Martin Space Systems – Michoud Operations designs and assembles large aluminum and composite structures such as the Space Shuttle External Tank for aerospace and other applications at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Harry Wadsworth, 504-257-0094,

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