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Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT - Analyst Report) has received an order from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to supply biomedical, medical and health services for all human spaceflight programs of the latter.

The contract, awarded by NASA's Johnson Space Center, has a maximum potential value of $250 million, over 10 years. The company’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business will be responsible for this contract.

The agreement entails Lockheed Martin to provide several kinds of assistance to NASA. These include flight hardware advancement, life sciences research performed on the International Space Station, human factors engineering to improve devices and tests for astronauts in zero gravity environment, space food development, flight and ground crew training, radiation study, and life sciences data archival.

The agreement comes under the Human Health and Performance Contract (HHPC). Under this contract vehicle, NASA observes astronauts’ health and assists bioastronautics research. In addition, these contracts support the improvement of human-health and performance-innovations for space flights as well as commercial aviations. These also help to manage tough atmospheres on Earth.

It is evident that Lockheed Martin plays a significant role in meeting NASA’s demand for several kinds of instruments for the space shuttle programs. A few days ago, the company acquired orders for the production of external tanks for powering NASA’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) driven vessels. The company is offering life sciences support at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for more than 30 years and has supported U.S. human spaceflight programs for more than 50 years.

Bethesda, MD-based Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Lockheed Martin’s strength lies in its strong total backlog, which stood at $82.3 billion at year-end 2012. In addition, we believe the company’s continuous effort toward debt-control and effective share repurchase programs will act as catalysts.

As NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense are the major customers of the company, any cutback in the U.S. defense budget could limit Lockheed Martin’s future growth prospects.

Lockheed Martin Corporation currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks from the sector that are also performing well presently include Ducommun Inc. (DCO - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK - Analyst Report) and The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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