Company hoping to carry NASA astronauts at Michoud

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lockheed Martin is working in New Orleans on parts for a mini-shuttle designed to take NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

It also has two other projects underway at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans, where thousands of people built space shuttle fuel tanks until NASA retired the shuttles.

Lockheed Martin vice president Jim Crocker said Tuesday it’s good to see the lights on again.

The company is working for Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev. — one of three aerospace companies picked in 2012 to build small rocketships to take astronauts to the space station.

Sierra Nevada official Mark Sirangelo says the Dream Chaser vehicles could help with satellite repairs and serve as space laboratories as well as astronaut shuttles.