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ULA Could Be Major Player in NASA’s New Commercial Launch Strategy

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 14, 2010
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NASA could be rocketing to United Launch Alliance’s sweet spot
Denver Business Journal

[CEO Michael] Gass also described a future for NASA that, without his quite saying it, sounded like the agency’s human space flight strategy is drifting into the ULA’s sweet spot as a business….

The shuttles retire later this year. America will rely afterward on seats NASA’s buying aboard Russian Soyuz capsules to get astronauts to the ISS until a domestic rocket is available.

ULA, particularly its Atlas V rocket, is an obvious candidates for some kind of role, perhaps becoming NASA certified as safe to carry astronauts (what’s known as “human rated”).

Gass suggested human rating isn’t a significant leap for his company. It already sends the government’s most sensitive satellites aloft, he said.

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