WSF logo


United Launch Alliance


United Launch Alliance has been awarded under CCDev (US$ 6.7 million) and also has an unfunded agreement under CCDev2.

ULA is a 50-50 partnership between The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin formed in 2006 with the intent purpose of providing reliable launch vehicles and service to the United States government.

Under CCDev, ULA has been tasked with developing an Emergency Detection System (EDS) and further developing the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles in support of NASA and other ISS partners.

EDS (Emergency Detection System) is a manned rocket health-monitoring computer which can identify pending failures in time to trigger abort systems and save the crews. While the initial thrust of EDS was aimed at the Atlas V and Delta IV vehicles, EDS can also be implemented with launch vehicles from other manufacturers. About the size of a microwave oven, EDS passed a major milestone in December 2010 when in a demo it correctly responded to a series of four fast and slow failure scenarios. Further tests are being done to ensure the EDS can survive during an actual launch.

Other CCDev efforts center on man-rating both the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.

The Atlas V has a long heritage. Beginning life in 1951, Atlas was originally developed as an ICBM, became a launch vehicle during Project Mercury, and has continued to evolve since. The Atlas V was developed by Lockheed Martin and passed on to ULA when it was formed in December 2006. Boeing has selected the Atlas V to launch its CST-100 crew vehicle.

The Delta IV, specifically the Delta IV Heavy, has been slated by NASA to be the launch vehicle for the initial flight test of its Orion MPCV in 2014.


Page last modified: 10 August 2015 16:54:55.