Lockheed Martin has ended its effort to return a small-to-medium-lift launch vehicle to market, and plans to keep the Atlas 5 rocket in flight concurrently with United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket for the first five years of operations.
NASA awarded a contract to United Launch Alliance March 3 for the launch of the second in a series of next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellites.
NROL-79 took off at 12:50 pm Eastern from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on ULA’s 21st mission for the intelligence agency.
The Atlas 5 401 is scheduled to launch at 12:50 p.m. Eastern March 1 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
United Launch Alliance, which is trying to bolster its appeal to potential launch customers, said Sept. 13 it has at least one spot open on its 2017 manifest for an Atlas 5 launch.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid spacecraft was installed on its launch vehicle Monday.
United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket returned to flight June 24 with its first launch in three months to successfully lift the fifth and final satellite in the U.S. Navy’s next-generation mobile communications system.
United Launch Alliance says it has identified and resolved the problem on its most recent Atlas 5 launch, a March 22 flight for Orbital ATK that successfully delivered the unmanned Cygnus space station resupply vehicle to orbit.
Dan Gouré is vice president of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va-based think tank that receives money from Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The U.S. Air Force appears to have formulated the perf…