How Orion Engineers Caught the "Space Bug"

Space captivates people from all backgrounds. For some, it started when they found a new favorite sci-fi novel, and for others it is a fascination with the stars above. This passion and excitement for the celestial manifests itself as the “Space Bug” – motivating people in their pursuit of the unknown.

At Lockheed Martin, we’re passionate about exploring the far reaches of the universe and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge. With Orion, humans will travel deeper into space, where greater discoveries await and where future generations will be inspired.

In December, with Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), Lockheed Martin and NASA will write a new chapter in the history of human space exploration.

Will you be part of that story one day?

Explore how the leading characters, the men and women engineering the journey to Mars, became inspired to advance humanities understanding of our world, the solar system and the universe – discover how they caught the “Space Bug”.

Be careful though, the Space Bug is rather contagious!

Eric Coffman

“As a child, I was fascinated by the unbelievable distance of the stars from Earth and the fact that I was looking at light from years ago. When I was five years old, I visited the Kennedy Space Center with my father – beginning my passion for rockets.”

Eric Coffman
Orion Propulsion System Design Lead


“Meeting astronaut Bruce McCandless sparked my interest in aerospace. His enthusiasm for space exploration reinforced my career dream of working on launch vehicles and spacecraft. I recognized the challenges, but I was inspired to be a part of a team that could make history in space exploration.”

Jennifer Brown
Systems Engineer on Launch Abort System

Marleen Martinez

“I recall in elementary school singing a song called “Mission Control” with the words, “I may be small but I’m growing, watch one day and you’ll see, space is wide open and waiting for me.” Then in junior high, I entered an essay contest and won a week at the U.S. Space Academy, fueling my desire to become an astronaut.”

Marleen Martinez
Senior Systems Integration & Test Engineer


“Looking out into the sky, I’ve always thought about how it was possible to go to space. As a child, whenever I saw an article or news story about a space program, I would cut them out and save them in a photo album. Now, I have the chance to live out a dream working on Orion.”

Kazi Kamruzzaman
Kennedy Space Center Quality Assurance Engineering Technical Lead

Casey O'Hayre

“I was hooked right away! In Middle School, I had the opportunity to take a tour at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Facility and saw the incredible work happening with the interplanetary missions. I knew right then that I wanted to help expand man’s presence in space.”

Casey O'Hayre
Senior Orion Avionics Power & Wiring Systems Engineer


“When I was five years old, I was fascinated by dinosaurs. But after my parents took me to a dinosaur exhibit and I learned that dinosaurs were relatively new compared to the big bang – I was blown away! I left with a burning question of how did we even figure out what happened before people were running around earth?  That planted a seed.”

Brian Hinde
Orion Heat Shield Certified Product Engineer