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STS-104: ISS airlock
Space shuttle Atlantis' STS-104 mission in July 2001 delivered the $164 million Joint Airlock to the International Space Station. The module, named Quest, gave the outpost a new doorway for American and Russian spacewalks. The five Atlantis astronauts narrate the highlights of their mission in this post-flight film.

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Astronaut practice
The space shuttle Discovery astronauts visit Kennedy Space Center for a practice countdown and emergency training drills. Watch some highlights from the activities.

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GPS 2R-16 launch
The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Nov. 17 on another mission to replenish the satellite constellation for the Global Positioning System.

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Discovery on the pad
The space shuttle Discovery is rolled to pad 39B for the STS-116 launch to the space station.

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Final Hubble servicing
The objectives of the just-approved final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission are detailed and the anticipated science from the new instruments to be installed are detailed in this briefing from Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Meet Hubble astronauts
The crew for the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission will be led by Scott Altman, with pilot Greg C. Johnson, robot arm operator Megan McArthur and spacewalkers Andrew Feustel, Mike Good, John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino. The astronauts meet the press in this news briefing from Johnson Space Center.

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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.