Hard on the heels of Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT ) announcement that it's getting into the energy infrastructure business, its partner, NASA -- yes, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- had an even more surprising revelation of its own Tuesday: NASA is looking to make some commercial profits of its own.
And not just by selling telescopes, space-themed toys, and NASA windbreakers at its stores, either. NASA's looking to make some serious scratch by retooling its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to manufacture liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks for commercial use on Earth.
At a joint press conference in New Orleans, standing beside Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and representatives from Lockheed, NASA representatives confirmed that they will be cooperating with Lockheed to use their "unique experience and equipment at Michoud to manufacture the LNG tanks." (Don't worry ... NASA's still making space gas-tanks, too).
Financial terms of the arrangement among Lockheed, NASA, and the Louisiana government have not yet been disclosed, but details should begin filtering out soon. According to Lockheed, the company has already begun receiving orders from customers who would like it to manufacture cryogenic tanks for fueling LNG-powered vessels. Once sales begin finalizing, and orders delivered, the details of how these three entities are divvying up the profits should become clearer.