ULA announces new plan to speed up launches

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The competition heats up: ULA today announced a new system for shortening the time from a customer’s initial launch contract to the actual launch of their payload.

The priorities of all of our customers include ensuring their spacecraft launches on schedule, securing the soonest possible manifest date and completing the mission with 100 percent success,” said Tory Bruno, ULA CEO and president. “To address these priorities, we have been working on this offering for more than a year, which allows our customers to launch in as few as three months from placing their order.”

It is very clear that this new system was inspired by the competition with SpaceX. It is also pretty obvious that they are making the announcement now in the hope they can grab some of SpaceX’s customers who are once again faced with delays because of the September 1 Falcon 9 launchpad explosion. It is also likely that SpaceX is pushing to get its next launch off by November in an effort to beat back ULA’s effort here.

Ain’t competition wonderful? It is so good, it will even get us to the stars.

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