Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Sunnyvale Campus

Originally a southern California company, Lockheed founded a space and missile division in northern California in 1955.

Lockheed purchased a 275 acre tract of land near Moffett Airfield in Sunnyvale for their sprawling space and missile research campus. By 1956 Lockheed employed nearly 8,600 people and expanded their campus by another 154 acres. By 1960, Lockheed employed 20,000 people, many of whom lived in Sunnyvale and worked at the facility.

The company focused on two main programs. First, Lockheed's experiments with solid-rocket-propelled vehicles caught the attention of the Navy, which was undertaking a program to develop sea-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles known as Polaris. A two-year contract between Lockheed and the Navy led to the creation of new rocket engines and computer guidance systems.

The second program focused on space systems. Under a secret program known as Coronoa, a reconnaissance satellite program, Lockeed contracted with the CIA and the Air Force to build satellites and control systems. The contract resulted in the creation of the Thor rocket booster and the Lockeed Agena spacecraft, designed for taking satellite photographs.

Sales revenues for Lockeed in 1957 was $879 million, but those figures jumped to $1.45 billion by 1961. Missiles and space components had become the majority of Lockheed's business, amounting to $735 million of company revenues.

Images

Front Entrance of Lookheed Aircraft Corporation

Front Entrance of Lookheed Aircraft Corporation

Image showing the front entrance of the Naval Reserve Ordnance Plant, United States Navy, Bureau of Ordnance, Lookheed Aircraft Corporation (Missile and Space Division) building. | Source: Arnold Del Carlo Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History | Creator: Del Carlo, Arnold View File Details Page

View of the Sunnyvale Lockheed Building by Night

View of the Sunnyvale Lockheed Building by Night

Shown is the Lockheed Missile and Space Division building by night, lit up with equally spaced lights mounted on the building. Sunnyvale, California. | Source: Arnold Del Carlo Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History | Creator: Del Carlo, Arnold View File Details Page

Partial View of the Lockheed Sunnyvale Building

Partial View of the Lockheed Sunnyvale Building

Shown is a partial view of the Lockheed Missile and Space Division building in Sunnyvale California. | Source: Arnold Del Carlo Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History | Creator: Del Carlo, Arnold View File Details Page

Entrance to the Sunnyvale Lockheed Building

Entrance to the Sunnyvale Lockheed Building

Shown is one of the entrances to the Lockheed Missile and Space Division building in Sunnyvale, California. | Source: Arnold Del Carlo Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History | Creator: Del Carlo, Arnold View File Details Page

Aerial View of the Sunnyvale, CA Lockheed Martin Corporation Complex

Aerial View of the Sunnyvale, CA Lockheed Martin Corporation Complex

Image showing an aerial view of the Lockheed Martin Corporation complex in Sunnyvale, California. | Source: Arnold Del Carlo Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History | Creator: Del Carlo, Arnold View File Details Page

Street Address:

1309 Moffett Park Drive, Building 597, Sunnyvale, California [map]

Cite this Page:

Jason Heppler, “Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Sunnyvale Campus,” Silicon Valley Historical, accessed October 24, 2018, http://svhistorical.org/items/show/1.

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