United Launch Alliance announced April 9 the formation of a new organization that will focus exclusively on NASAâ€™s human spaceflight programs.
ULAâ€™s Human Launch Services organization will be dedicated to supporting NASA and its partners in the development of capabilities to deliver U.S. astronauts to Low Earth Orbit and human exploration beyond Earth orbit.
â€œNASA is making tremendous progress towards closing the U.S. human spaceflight gap and we are committed to supporting them with our flight-proven Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles and technologies,â€ said Michael Gass, ULA president and CEO.Â â€œULA understands that human spaceflight requires the utmost attention to safety and reliability and the new organization will focus our energy and attention towards those crucial goals.â€
ULAâ€™s Human Launch Services Organization will be led by Dr. George Sowers. Prior to this position, Sowers headed ULAâ€™s Business Development and Advanced Programs team and brings with him more than 25 years of launch systems design, development and integration expertise.
â€œULA is extremely proud of our heritage in human spaceflight beginning 50 years ago with the Mercury/Atlas launch delivering John Glenn to orbit,â€ said Sowers. â€œWe look forward to working with NASA and our commercial crew customers to leverage our unprecedented success record with Atlas V and Delta IV to meet the nationâ€™s need for assured access and crew safety for missions to the International Space Station and other destinations.â€
The ULA Human Launch Services Organization will be based in Denver, and will have resident support at key NASA Centers. The organization will draw upon the same engineering, production and operations expertise currently supporting ULAâ€™s national security and NASA science customers.
â€œThe new organization will draw upon the same processes and people that have made our launch vehicles the most reliable in the world,â€ said Sowers. â€œThe intent is to leverage our successful heritage while providing our human spaceflight customers with an organization focused exclusively on their needs.â€
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.