ULA Employees Part of Original, Ground-Breaking DC-X Team
Centennial, Colo., (Aug. 19, 2013) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) congratulates the entire Delta Clipper Experimental (DC-X) team, which includes 11 current ULA employees, on their induction into the International Space Hall of Fame by the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
The DC-X was developed and built by McDonnell Douglas for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization as an unmanned prototype for a reusable single stage to orbit launch vehicle.
“Congratulations to the entire DC-X team,” said Michael Gass, president and CEO of ULA. “Delta Clipper was truly an innovated achievement 20 years ago. It was a not just about lifting off the ground and demonstrating flight, but DC-X ascended vertically, moved laterally, rotated to demonstrate flight up to an angle of attack of 70 degrees and then descended vertically to the same position it launched from, an achievement not yet replicated even today nearly two decades later.”
DC-X reached astounding record altitude of just under 10,000 feet on its next to last test flight in 1996.
“I am grateful I had the opportunity to be part of the team that worked on this tremendously successful program and I am grateful to the New Mexico Museum of Space History for its recognition of the anniversary of this ground-breaking achievement,” said Art Breinlinger, ULA Delta II production leader. “The data we learned from that program provided the basis for initial concepts of operations for Operationally Responsive launch systems investigated in the 2000-2010 timeframe.”
The innovative approach and key technical demonstrations achieved by the DC-X and DC-XA vehicle were enabled by the use of the nation’s most reliable engine, the RL-10, which continues to support critical National Security, NASA Interplanetary and Earth Observation and Commercial systems on the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.
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, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
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