ULA Celebrates 10 Years And 100 Percent Mission Success

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy lifts off carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

December 9, 2016 – For 10 years, United Launch Alliance has been the nation’s premier launch provider, offering unmatched reliability, schedule certainty and 100 percent mission success. As 2016 comes to a close, ULA has successfully launched 113 times since the company was formed in December 2006.

“For a decade, our ULA team has made the ordinary, extraordinary,” said Tory Bruno, president and CEO of ULA. “I am grateful to all of our employees and industry partners for their unwavering dedication to mission success. Over the last 10 years, ULA has launched 71 national security missions, 28 NASA missions and 14 commercial missions that save lives, explore the universe and connect the world.”

In 2014, ULA embarked on a multi-year transformation to cut the price of launch services in half, making space more accessible and affordable. In addition, ULA has cut the time it takes to assemble the rocket with the spacecraft at the launch site and fly by more than two thirds, and it has entered into strategic partnerships with key suppliers which have reduced the supply chain cost by 36 percent.

“Thanks to the hard work accomplished by the team, we are well on our way to a sub $100 million rocket launch service,” said Bruno. “Through innovative solutions like RapidLaunch™ and RocketBuilderSM we have found a way to expedite access to space in as quickly as three months and capture the true total cost of a ULA launch.”

In addition to ULA’s most recent announcements, the company introduced the world to the new innovative Vulcan Centaur rocket in 2015, which will be superior in reliability, cost, weight and capability.

“The Vulcan Centaur’s American engine and Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES) reusable upper stage will introduce revolutionary capabilities that will change how we go to space and what we can do there,” said Bruno. “The key to long-term success of the space enterprise is to develop a self-sustained space economy in cislunar space; ACES makes it possible, delivering 30 percent more performance than Delta IV Heavy and extending missions from just hours to weeks.”

Even as ULA continues to push the boundaries with innovative solutions, the history they have built cannot go unnoticed. ULA’s Atlas and Delta vehicles have launched NASA spacecraft to every planet in the solar system, launched all 17 American-led missions to Mars and launched John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.

“Human spaceflight has been in our Atlas DNA since the 1960s, and now our Atlas V, along with Boeing’s Starliner, will launch American astronauts to the International Space Station in 2018,” said Bruno.

ULA has launched missions that have discovered water on Mars, predicted dangerous weather, given us new views of the Earth, provided communications to underserved regions, protected our troops and made the world a safer place.

“As we reflect over the last 10 years, the ULA team has achieved remarkable accomplishments. I’m honored to be a part of the best launch team in the world, and I look forward to helping the men and women of ULA continue to transform the launch industry,” said Bruno.

ULA is a 50-50 joint venture between Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company formed in 2006 to provide reliable, cost-efficient access to space for U.S. government missions. United Launch Alliance brings together two of the launch industry’s most experienced and successful teams —- Atlas and Delta —- that represent more than 100 years of combined launch experience. Over more than 50 years, Atlas and Delta have launched approximately 1,300 missions. Launch customers include the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. Air Force and other organizations.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Centennial, Colorado.