United Launch Alliance
The U.S. Air Force said it plans to award United Launch Alliance a sole-source contract to build and launch two Delta 4 Heavy rockets for National Reconnaissance Office between 2020 and 2023, according to an Aug. 4 announcement.
The U.S. Senate approved a compromise June 14 that would give United Launch Alliance access to as many as 18 Russian RD-180 rocket engines to compete against SpaceX through 2022 for national security launch contracts.
The Defense Department awarded United Launch Alliance a $138 million contract modification May 31 largely to launch the fifth in a series of protected communications satellites on an Atlas 5 rocket in 2018.
Senators took to their chamber’s floor June 9 to discuss when United Launch Alliance should stop using Russian RD-180 rocket engines to launch national security satellites.
United Launch Alliance plans to eliminate more than 400 jobs in 2017 in addition to the 375 it plans to cut this year, the head of the Denver-based launch services provider said April 13.
A senior United Launch Alliance official on March 15 gave a candid assessment of his company’s attempt to reinvent itself at a time when competitor SpaceX has almost single-handedly caused a rebirth of the cool in U.S. rocketry that has all but bypassed ULA.