United Launch Alliance Joint Venture Completes First Launch

ULA Demonstrates Commitment to Mission Assurance With Delta II West Coast

Liftoff for NRO Customer



Dec 14, 2006, 00:00 ET from United Launch Alliance

    DENVER, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A Delta II expendable launch vehicle
 successfully launched today a classified payload for the National
 Reconnaissance Office (NRO), marking the first mission completed by the
 United Launch Alliance (ULA) since its formation Dec. 1, 2006.
     The Delta II rocket carrying NROL-21 lifted off from Space Launch
 Complex 2-West at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1 p.m. Pacific
 Standard Time. Following a nominal 58-minute flight, the rocket deployed
 the payload.
     "The United Launch Alliance team is proud and honored to complete this
 first mission for our government customer," said Michael C. Gass, president
 and chief executive officer of ULA. "Today we begin a new era in assured
 access to space. This is the first ULA Delta launch, but it's the 322nd
 Delta launch since the first one in 1960. ULA continues two highly
 successful American launch lines that between them have flown more than 850
 times. We are committed to sustaining this outstanding record of
 reliability, only more effectively and affordably as the two lines are
 integrated over time."
     The ULA Delta II 7920-10 configuration vehicle used for today's mission
 featured a ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
 RS- 27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid
 rocket boosters. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The
 configuration features a ten-foot-diameter payload fairing.
     "In 2006, there were six Delta II, three Delta IV and two Atlas V
 missions, all successful," said Dan Collins, ULA chief operating officer.
 "We have an equally challenging manifest in 2007 with a total of 21
 launches planned, consisting of a dozen Delta IIs, six Atlas Vs and three
 Delta IVs from the East and West Coasts. It's a tall order, but this team
 is up to the task. Our focus on mission success will get the job done."
     Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable
 launch vehicle programs to offer cost-effective and reliable launch
 services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense,
 NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other organizations. ULA
 program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are
 headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration
 operations are located at Decatur, Ala. and Harlingen, Tex. Launch
 operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and at
 Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
     For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA website at
 http://www.ulalaunch.com , or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321
 (852-4321).
      Contact:
 
      Julie Andrews, (321) 853-1567 (Office), (321) 750-1000 (Cell)
      julie.c.andrews@ulalaunch.com
 
      Doug Shores, (256) 432-1127 (Office), (256) 476-3502 (Cell)
      Douglas.B.Shores@Boeing.com
 
 

SOURCE United Launch Alliance
    DENVER, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A Delta II expendable launch vehicle
 successfully launched today a classified payload for the National
 Reconnaissance Office (NRO), marking the first mission completed by the
 United Launch Alliance (ULA) since its formation Dec. 1, 2006.
     The Delta II rocket carrying NROL-21 lifted off from Space Launch
 Complex 2-West at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1 p.m. Pacific
 Standard Time. Following a nominal 58-minute flight, the rocket deployed
 the payload.
     "The United Launch Alliance team is proud and honored to complete this
 first mission for our government customer," said Michael C. Gass, president
 and chief executive officer of ULA. "Today we begin a new era in assured
 access to space. This is the first ULA Delta launch, but it's the 322nd
 Delta launch since the first one in 1960. ULA continues two highly
 successful American launch lines that between them have flown more than 850
 times. We are committed to sustaining this outstanding record of
 reliability, only more effectively and affordably as the two lines are
 integrated over time."
     The ULA Delta II 7920-10 configuration vehicle used for today's mission
 featured a ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
 RS- 27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid
 rocket boosters. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The
 configuration features a ten-foot-diameter payload fairing.
     "In 2006, there were six Delta II, three Delta IV and two Atlas V
 missions, all successful," said Dan Collins, ULA chief operating officer.
 "We have an equally challenging manifest in 2007 with a total of 21
 launches planned, consisting of a dozen Delta IIs, six Atlas Vs and three
 Delta IVs from the East and West Coasts. It's a tall order, but this team
 is up to the task. Our focus on mission success will get the job done."
     Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable
 launch vehicle programs to offer cost-effective and reliable launch
 services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense,
 NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other organizations. ULA
 program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are
 headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration
 operations are located at Decatur, Ala. and Harlingen, Tex. Launch
 operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and at
 Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
     For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA website at
 http://www.ulalaunch.com , or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321
 (852-4321).
      Contact:
 
      Julie Andrews, (321) 853-1567 (Office), (321) 750-1000 (Cell)
      julie.c.andrews@ulalaunch.com
 
      Doug Shores, (256) 432-1127 (Office), (256) 476-3502 (Cell)
      Douglas.B.Shores@Boeing.com
 
 SOURCE United Launch Alliance