Orbital Sciences Awards Cygnus Launch to ULA

And the Award Goes To… Atlas V!  Image Credit : United Launch Alliance

When Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson told investors during a conference call on November 5th that his company would be awarding at least one, and possibly two Cygnus launches to another supplier in the wake of the Antares launch failure, many assumed the winner would be SpaceX, based on on price. The order went to ULA instead.

ULA Press Release

Centennial, Colo., (Dec. 9, 2014) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) has signed a contract with Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) (NYSE: ORB) to launch up to two cargo missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program.

“We could not be more honored that Orbital selected ULA to launch its Cygnus spacecraft,” said Jim Sponnick, vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. “This mission was awarded in a highly competitive environment, and we look forward to continuing ULA’s long history of providing reliable, cost-effective launch services for customers.”

The first mission is set to lift off in late 2015 aboard an Atlas V 401 vehicle from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If required by Orbital, the second mission would be targeted for 2016.

“Orbital is pleased to partner with ULA for these important cargo missions to the International Space Station,” said Frank Culbertson, Orbital executive vice president and general manager of its Advanced Programs Group. “ULA’s ability to integrate and launch missions on relatively short notice demonstrates ULA’s manifest flexibility and responsiveness to customer launch needs.”

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