DENVER, Feb. 5, 2008 -- The U.S. Air Force recently awarded United Launch Alliance a $505 million contract to provide launch services for three National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellites aboard Delta IV rockets under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The EELV Launch Services Contract provides for the production, hardware integration, assembly and checkout of the launch vehicle.

Two of those missions are heavy configurations. Of the three missions, two will launch from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and the third will launch from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The NRO is a joint organization engaged in the research and development, acquisition, launch and operation of overhead reconnaissance systems necessary to meet the needs of the Intelligence Community and of the Department of Defense.

"We are proud to continue our critical role ensuring our nation has the technology and spaceborne assets needed to acquire intelligence worldwide," said Scott Tampa, ULA NRO program manager. "These missions will continue our rich heritage supporting the NRO and are the result of our past mission successes of providing safe, cost-effective launch services to our government customer."

Launch dates for the missions will be determined at a later time.

ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for Feb. 26, is a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office aboard an Atlas V rocket from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo., supported by transition employees in Huntington Beach, Calif. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, San Diego, Calif., and Denver, Colo. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.