Starliner Reaches Orbit Despite Thruster Problems, ISS Docking Set for Friday

Atlas V lifts off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. (Credit: ULA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner uncrewed spacecraft reached orbit after launch from Florida on Thursday on its way to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) despite problems with two of its 12 thrusters, officials said. The flight test is a crucial step to certifying Starliner to carry crew to the station.

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United Launch Alliance Set to Launch the CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft on Orbital Flight Test-2

An Atlas V rocket carrying the AEHF-6 mission for the U.S Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 4:18 p.m. EDT on March 26, 2020. (Credit: United Launch Alliance)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (United Launch Alliance PR) — A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The launch is planned for Thurs. May 19 at 6:54 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The live launch broadcast begins no earlier than 6 p.m. EDT on May 19 at www.ulalaunch.com.

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Atlas V to Launch Starliner OFT-2 Mission on Thursday

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is lifted at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 4, 2022, ahead of its second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Credits: NASA/Frank Michaux)

United Launch Alliance Mission Information

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket will launch Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft on its Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the International Space Station. OFT-2 is the second uncrewed flight of the Starliner that will demonstrate the spacecraft’s human transportation capabilities. This test flight is the last major step before the Atlas V and Boeing’s Starliner capsule take American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Launch Date and Time: Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 6:54 p.m. EDT (2254 UTC)
Webcast: Begins May 19 at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC)

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Secures Largest RL10 Engine Contract From United Launch Alliance

Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed successful hot-fire testing of a full-scale, additively manufactured thrust chamber assembly for the RL10 rocket engine at its West Palm Beach, Florida facility. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) recently awarded the largest RL10 contract ever to Aerojet Rocketdyne to deliver 116 RL10C-X engines for its Vulcan Centaur rocket. The new engines will support ULA as it works to fulfill its commitments under a contract they recently received from Amazon, as part of the largest commercial launch contract in history, to support the launch of its Kuiper satellite constellation.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Scramjet Engine Powers Successful Hypersonic Vehicle Flight

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 06, 2022 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — An advanced Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet engine powered the successful flight test of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), in a joint effort with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lockheed Martin.

The goal of the DARPA / Lockheed Martin HAWC program is to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile system.

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United Launch Alliance Set to Launch GOES-T Mission for NOAA and NASA

Illustration of the GOES-T spacecraft with Earth’s reflection. (Credits: Lockheed Martin)

Essential satellite for the nation’s most advanced weather observation and climate monitoring system

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., Feb. 26, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch the GOES-T mission for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. The launch, managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) based at Kennedy Space Center, is on track for March 1 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Launch is planned for 4:38 p.m. EST. The live launch broadcast begins at 4:00 p.m. EST on March 1 at  www.ulalaunch.com.

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Aerojet Rocketydyne Statement on Lockheed Martin Decision to Terminate Merger

Aerojet Rocketdyne Positioned to Continue Driving Growth, Profitability and Value Creation

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 13, 2022 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) (the “Company”) today reaffirmed its strong foundation for substantial value creation following the termination of its merger agreement with Lockheed Martin Corporation. The Company issued the following statement:

We are poised to deliver substantial value to our shareholders driven by our continued leadership in key space exploration and defense growth markets, including by advancing hypersonics and strategic, tactical and missile defense systems. Aerojet Rocketdyne has delivered strong shareholder returns of 166% over the five years prior to the transaction announcement, significantly outperforming the Aerospace and Defense Index by 33% and the S&P 500 by 62%.

We are confident in our future performance with an impressive backlog that is more than three times the size of our annual sales and a strong macroeconomic environment underpinning our portfolio. We look forward to providing further details regarding our financial performance and strategy on our fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings report on Feb. 17, 2022.

Lockheed Martin Terminates Agreement To Acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 13, 2022 (Lockheed Martin PR) — Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) today announced it has terminated its agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD). The decision to terminate the agreement follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit filed late last month seeking a preliminary injunction to block the acquisition.

“Our planned acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne would have benefitted the entire industry through greater efficiency, speed, and significant cost reductions for the U.S. government,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO James Taiclet. “However, we determined that in light of the FTC’s actions, terminating the transaction is in the best interest of our stakeholders. We stand by our long heritage as a merchant supplier and trusted partner and will continue to support Aerojet Rocketdyne and other essential suppliers in the Defense Industrial Base still overcoming the challenges of the pandemic.

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Lockheed Martin Statement on FTC Opposition to Aerojet Rocketdyne Acquisition

Update on Proposed Aerojet Rocketdyne Acquisition
Lockheed Martin
Jan. 25, 2022

Earlier this month, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne agreed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the parties would not close the transaction before Jan. 27, 2022, to enable the parties to discuss the scope and nature of the merchant supply and firewall commitments previously offered by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin has been advised by the FTC that its concerns regarding the transaction cannot be addressed adequately by the terms of a consent order. Lockheed Martin believes it is highly likely that the FTC will vote to sue to block the transaction and expects they will make a decision before Jan. 27, 2022.

If the FTC sues to block the transaction, Lockheed Martin could elect to defend the lawsuit or terminate the merger agreement. Additional information concerning the transaction can be found in Lockheed Martin’s 2021 Form 10-K that has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lockheed Martin continues to believe in the benefits of the transaction for the United States and its allies, the industry, and all of the company’s stakeholders.

FTC Sues to Block Lockheed Martin Corporation’s $4.4 Billion Vertical Acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.

Agency Seeks to Prevent World’s Largest Defense Contractor from Eliminating Last Independent U.S. Missile Propulsion Provider and Further Consolidating Markets Critical to National Security and Defense

WASHINGTON (FTC PR) — Today, the Federal Trade Commission sued to block Lockheed Martin Corporation’s $4.4 billion proposed vertical acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc, the last independent U.S. supplier of missile propulsion systems. Aerojet supplies advanced power, propulsion, and armament systems, which are critical components for the missiles made by Lockheed and other defense prime contractors. The agency’s complaint alleges that if the deal is allowed to proceed, Lockheed will use its control of Aerojet to harm rival defense contractors and further consolidate multiple markets critical to national security and defense. This is the agency’s first litigated defense merger challenge in decades.

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United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Critical Space Surveillance Mission for U.S. Space Force

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:00 p.m. EST on Jan. 21. (Credit: United Launch Alliance)

Atlas V launched Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, to a near-geosynchronous orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., January 21, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command lifted off on Jan. 21 at 2:00 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. To date ULA has launched 148 times with 100 percent mission success.

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ULA Atlas V to Launch USSF-8 Mission in Support of National Security on Friday

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches on the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The mission’s Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) spacecraft hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and the NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph (UVSC) Pathfinder. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., Jan. 19, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. The launch is on track for Jan. 21, 2022 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Launch is planned for 2:00 p.m. EST. The live launch broadcast begins at 1:40 p.m. EST at www.ulalaunch.com.

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NASA Prepares SLS Moon Rockets for First Crewed Artemis Missions

Casting and assembly of solid rocket booster, shown her, for the Artemis IV mission is underway at Northrop Grumman’s factory in Promontory, Utah. The booster motors for Artemis II and Artemis III have completed casting and are ready to go to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where they will be assembled with other booster hardware being prepared for the missions. (Credit: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — As teams continue to prepare NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for its debut flight with the launch of Artemis I, NASA and its partners across the country have made great progress building the rocket for Artemis II, the first crewed Artemis mission. The team is also manufacturing and testing major parts for Artemis missions III, IV and V.

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United Launch Alliance to Launch STP-3 Mission in Support of National Security

An ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the SBIRS GEO Flight 5 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41at 1:37 p.m. EDT on May 18. (Credit; United Launch Alliance)

Mission will be a direct injection to Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO) and longest mission to date

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., Dec. 2, 2021 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch the Space Test Program (STP)-3 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. The launch is on track for Dec. 5, 2021 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Launch is planned for 4:04 a.m. EST. The live launch broadcast begins at 3:30 a.m. EST at www.ulalaunch.com.

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Aerojet Completes Successful Space Launch System Rocket Engine Test Series

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Sept. 30, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Today’s RS-25 engine test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center completed the Retrofit-2 test series, which validated modernized, lower-cost components for new RS-25 engines to be used on the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket.

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