United Launch Alliance begins operations
Posted: December 1, 2006
United Launch Alliance (ULA), the new joint venture combining the Delta and Atlas rocket programs of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, officially opened its doors today as a new enterprise focused on providing world-class space launch services for the U.S. government at lower cost.
ULA combines the assets of the two programs, including mission management and support, engineering, vehicle production, test and launch operations, and, most importantly, the people whose intellectual capital will enable the new venture.
"Today is a major milestone for ULA and our U.S. government customers," said Michael C. Gass, president and chief executive officer of the new joint venture. "We have joined forces to create the strongest launch vehicle company in the world and to carry out the space policies and critical missions of our government."
ULA will support diverse missions for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Estimated annual savings for the government, resulting from the increased efficiencies created by the joint venture, are expected to be about $100-150 million.
"ULA will offer two robust launch systems that each have an excellent record of mission success," said Daniel J. Collins, ULA chief operating officer. "Our new combined team is focused on assuring access to space while offering the best and most innovative solutions for current and future national requirements."
The joint venture is structured as a 50-50 partnership between the two parent companies. After a thorough review and positive recommendation from the Department of Defense, the Federal Trade Commission approved the joint venture on Oct. 3, 2006. The European Union also has approved the joint venture.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing will continue to utilize their respective marketing, sales and contract organizations - Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services for Atlas vehicles, and Boeing Launch Services for Delta vehicles- for commercial and other non-government missions not associated with ULA.