ULA launching the Atlas V rocket.
ULA launching the Atlas V rocket
Built on a heritage of sequential enhancements to the Atlas I, II and III families and developed in partnership with the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, the Atlas V provides a single system that can accommodate medium-lift to heavy-lift missions for US government and commercial launch customers. The continuous improvement approach builds on flight-proven components and previous configurations, including the Centaur upper stage flown on Atlas and Titan vehicles since the 1960’s and the RD-180 main engine, which first flew on the Atlas III. The Atlas I, II and III families are now retired.
Launch Company United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ULA was founded in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies that provided spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S. government launch customers included the Department of Defense and NASA, as well as other organizations. With ULA, Lockheed and Boeing held a monopoly on military launches for more than a decade, until the US Air Force awarded a GPS satellite contract to SpaceX in 2016.
Launch Company United Launch Alliance (ULA) has 3,400 employees working at sites across the USA. Program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located in Decatur in Alabama and Harlingen in Texas. ULA’s launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
ULA is using three expendable launch systems, Delta II, Delta IV and Atlas V. The Atlas and Delta launch vehicles have been used for more than 50 years and launched approximately 1,300 missions to carry a variety of payloads including weather-, communication- and national security satellites, as well as deep space and interplanetary exploration missions in support of scientific research. ULA also provides launch services for non-government satellites: Lockheed Martin retains the rights to market Atlas commercially.