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Centennial-Based Rocket Maker Enters Partnership with NASA

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International Launch Services
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An Atlas V lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral in 2002 carrying the HOT BIRD 6 broadcast satellite.

Centennial-based United Launch Alliance, or ULA, announced Monday that it’s partnering with NASA, to explore the safety of using one of their rockets to send astronauts into orbit.

Colorado has had a long connection with NASA during the shuttle program – which comes to an end this week. Now, NASA is turning to ULA to help develop the company’s Atlas V Rocket to launch the next generation of astronauts into space and the International Space Station.  NASA Commercial Crew Development Program Manager, Ed Mango, says people who’ve had shuttle experience will be part of the process.

“Also those who’ve experienced our expendable launch vehicle program, some of those folks are on our team. We take that expertise and the folks who have that history and build our team. We very much are looking at history to understand what will happen in the future,” he adds.

The Atlas is a proven rocket, with numerous successful unmanned missions under its belt.  The upcoming work includes identification of risks and possible mitigation strategies and development of hazard analyses unique to human space flight.

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