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Atlas and Delta rockets get new batch of launch orders
Posted: July 1, 2013

United Launch Alliance has received a seven-launch order for Atlas and Delta rockets to carry out missions for the U.S. Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office.

Atlas 5 rocket launch. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight Now
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Under terms of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle production services deal, the sole source acquisition award is worth $1 billion.

The four Air Force launches will use the Atlas 5-401 and Atlas 5-501 configurations, which have four- and five-meter payload shrouds, respectively, and no solid rocket motors on either vehicle. The military also bought two Delta 4 rockets, one with a four-meter upper stage and two solid motors and the other with a five-meter upper stage and four solids.

The NRO, which operates the nation's fleet of spy satellites, has ordered three launches, including an Atlas 5-401, an Atlas 5-541 with four solids and a Delta 4 with a five-meter upper stage and two solids.

The EELV fleet of Atlas and Delta offer modular rockets that are tailored to fit the needs of the specific payload being launched.

ULA has performed 71 launches since its formation in December 2006, when the Lockheed Martin Atlas and Boeing Delta families were merged to improve the efficiency of delivering U.S. government spacecraft to orbit.