Denver, Colo., (Nov. 29, 2007) - United Launch Alliance (ULA) will mark its first anniversary of operation Dec. 1, 2007, with company-wide employee celebrations and preparations for the final three launches of the year. Representing the consolidation of America's premiere Atlas and Delta rocket launch programs into one independent joint venture, ULA and its more than 4,000 employees are marking a year of solid accomplishments led by 11 successful launches for a variety of customers.
"One year ago, we officially opened our doors with our stated mission of providing the best expendable launch systems and services to assure access to space for our customers at a lower cost," said Michael C. Gass, president and chief executive officer of ULA. "We have made great progress during our first year, and in executing our launches with 100 percent mission success we have helped to protect our nation, explore the universe and enable the commerce of space. We are proud to share these great achievements with our Air Force, NASA, and National Reconnaissance Office customers."
ULA combined the assets of the Delta and Atlas programs, including mission management and support, engineering, vehicle production, test and launch operations, and, most importantly, the people whose intellectual capital enabled a successful first year. The 11 ULA missions have taken place from four launch complexes at two launch sites: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Seven Delta II rockets launched three missions for NASA, one for the National Reconnaissance Office, one for the Air Force and two for commercial customers. Three Atlas Vs launched two missions for the Air Force and one for the NRO. In November the first operational Delta IV Heavy successfully orbited DSP-23 for the Air Force.
"We congratulate the United Launch Alliance team on their first anniversary since forming their joint venture. We look forward to a strong continued partnership and mission success in providing this nation assured access to space," said Col. Samuel Greaves, Launch and Range Systems Wing Commander, United States Air Force. ULA will continue in 2008 the day-to-day tasks of transitioning and combining the Atlas and Delta programs and their support systems to achieve commonality throughout the company. One of the most significant combinations is the planned collocation of major production operations at the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Decatur, Ala. Plans for that transition have been established and execution will take place over the next several years.
"Operationally, we are off to a great start, having met the challenges of moving people and assets from Southern California, executing on our transition and consolidation plans, being 100 percent compliant with the regulatory oversight we must meet, and not missing a beat with mission success," said Daniel J. Collins, ULA's chief operating officer. "There are always challenges to starting a new company, but by bringing together the most knowledgeable and talented teams in the business, we have created the strongest launch vehicle company in the world."
Other major accomplishments in 2007 include:
-High degree of financial stability.
-Successful establishment of a vigorous business ethics program.
-One hundred percent compliance with Federal Trade Commission consent order provisions that set the stage for ULA's formation.
-Receipt of a Certificate of Registration to AS9100 Quality Standards from National Quality Assurance, Ltd. after successfully completing a full-scale, multi-site assessment of the ULA Quality Management System.
-Kickoff of a company-wide corporate citizenship program at all sites, invigorated by employee volunteerism.
"It has been a remarkable year filled with a significant amount of progress and incredible achievements,” Gass said. “From the open sharing of information to more quickly solve issues that arise, to the collaborative efforts to adopt what’s technically best from both systems, each day we see the advantages of bringing these two teams together."
Challenges ahead for ULA include executing on 23 launches manifested through 2008, and completing the work of separation from the member company systems by the end of 2008.
Complete separation from Boeing and Lockheed Martin includes having stand-alone business systems in place, anchored by a new information technology backbone.
ULA's next mission will be a Delta II launching the Italian-built COSMO-2 satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 5 at 6:31 p.m. PST. The satellite is being launched for a commercial customer of Boeing Launch Services, a division of Boeing Network and Space Systems.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. and supported by transition employees in Huntington Beach, Calif. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Tex. and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch or twitter.com/ulalaunch