Pricing Remains Hurdle for Commercial Delta, Atlas Sales
The two companies selling U.S. Delta and Atlas rockets to commercial customers said they could not justify a full re-entry into the market given the continued tough pricing environment for commercial launches.
Speaking March 25 here during the Satellite 2009 conference â€” the same day that major satellite fleet operators all but pleaded that Delta and Atlas managers reconnect with the commercial market â€” they said there was no real incentive for them to do so.
“We have just completed our 87th consecutive successful Delta 2 launch,” said Ken Heinly, director of launch product services at Boeing, which markets the Delta rocket. “People want it, but we’re having a hard time getting to where it’s priced right.”
David Markham, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, whose Atlas 5 rocket also has an enviable success history, said Atlas’ main customer, the U.S. Air Force, appears ambivalent about whether to facilitate the rocket’s commercial availability.
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