ULA is still betting on long-endurance upper stages and believes the technology has a bright future.
ULA received $224. 2 million for two missions named USSF-112 and USSF-87. SpaceX got $159.7 million for USSF-36 and NROL-69.
Millennium Engineering and Integration on Feb. 19 received a $13.2 million contract for services in support of the Vulcan rocket certification.
Tory Bruno warned there are too many venture-funded space launch companies competing for a static number of customers.
Tory Bruno said he is confident that Vulcan and first customer — Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander — will be on the launch pad “by the end of next year.”
A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket on Dec. 10 at 8:09 p.m. Eastern launched NROL-44 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“Over the next 18 months we’ll complete the transition to a fully reusable SpaceX fleet for our national security missions,” said Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise.
ULA said the delay in Dream Chaser’s first mission will not prevent Vulcan from getting certified on time for its first national security mission in 2022.
A National Reconnaissance Office satellite flew to orbit Nov. 13 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
Executives of major launch companies said they doubted there was sufficient demand for more than a few small launch vehicle developers, citing their own efforts to provide rideshare launch services for smallsats.
The recent streak of launch scrubs proves that systems are working like they should, said Col. Douglas Pentecost.
Lockheed CFO Ken Possenriede: “We now have a price point that will allow ULA to get its fair share of awards over SpaceX"
Bruno has pitched the idea of a "strategic propellant reserve" to the National Space Council
Bruno: "This is is just shocking in terms of the scale and ubiquity of this threat."
While ULA builds the Atlas 5 for NROL-101 it also is working to get NROL-44 launched on a Delta 4 Heavy.