United Launch Alliance Concludes Banner Year

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05 a.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. Image Credit: Colorado Space News

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05 a.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. Image Credit: Colorado Space News

January 6, 2015 – United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, concluded another successful year in 2014, reliably and affordably launching 14 satellites to orbit with 100 percent mission success.

“What ULA has accomplished this year, in support of our customers’ missions, is nothing short of remarkable,” said ULA CEO Tory Bruno. “When you think about every detail – all of the science, all of the planning, all of the resources – that goes into a single launch, it is hard to believe that we successfully did it at a rate of about once a month, sometimes twice.”

ULA’s 14-mission manifest spanned:

  • 9 national security space missions, including four Global Positioning System satellites for the U.S. Air Force
  • 3 space exploration missions, including NASA’s first Exploration Flight Test for Lockheed Martin’s Orion spacecraft
  • 2 commercial missions, including DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3, which provides the latest Earth imaging capabilities
  • Other major accomplishments in 2014 included:

  • The 51st successful launch of the Delta II
  • The 50th successful launch of the Atlas V
  • The 25th successful launch of the Delta IV
  • Twice successfully launching two different missions from two different coasts in one week
  • ULA’s 90th successful launch, an unmatched record of success
  • “This year we were reminded just how hard rocket science can be,” said Bruno. “It takes a special group of people to be in this business, and I am truly humbled to work among dedicated individuals who have exhibited a total focus on precision, a passion for the science of rocketry and space, and a deep commitment to our purpose.”

    2014 also marked the start of the five-year contract between United Launch Alliance and the Air Force, a best-practice, multi-year acquisition process that will save the government $4.4 billion, ensure significant operations efficiencies, and create the needed stability and predictability in the supplier and industrial base, while meeting national security space requirements.

    Also in 2014, ULA partnered with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to develop a new domestic engine, an all-American rocket engine that will power ULA’s next-generation vehicles. The new engine, the BE-4, will lower the cost of launches and will meet both commercial requirements and those of the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.

    Additionally, ULA and its partner, The Boeing Company, were selected to support NASA’s Commercial Crew program, sending critical cargo and the next generation of astronauts to the International Space Station. As America’s ride to space, ULA will launch Boeing’s manned CST-100 spacecraft by 2017, playing a pivotal role in advancement of human spaceflight.

    “It goes without saying: ULA had a banner year,” Bruno said. “As we look ahead to 2015, we could not be more honored to continue supporting our nation in one of the most technologically complex, critical American needs: affordable, reliable access to space.”