Satnews Daily
November 30th, 2016

United Launch Alliance Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Rockets Rather Than Candles 

Most people use candles on a cake to represent each year of a birthday or anniversary celebration. However, not everyone celebrates in the traditional way, as United Launch Alliance reveals. You're no doubt familiar with building your own burger or pizza toppings  or choosing colors of a car, but how about building your own rocket?

United Launch Alliance (ULA) will be celebrating their 10th anniversary on Thursday, and today they are launching a  new, innovative website  that enhances the way customers shop for launch services and sets a new standard for pricing transparency. It also provides insight into a reliable  schedule, allowing users to make a true value comparison. 

“The value of a launch is a lot more than its price tag,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and chief executive officer. “Through our RocketBuilderâ„  website, customers are now empowered with pricing information that can be used to make decisions during their spacecraft development process, potentially helping customers keep program costs down. In addition, customers are able to build a rocket based on the needs they input, their spacecraft specifications and mission requirements.”

“RocketBuilder makes launch services more transparent and accessible to anyone, from students and teachers to current and future customers,” said Bruno. “This site continues ULA’s transformation to make space more affordable and accessible, and as we celebrate our company’s 10th anniversary tomorrow, there is no better way to underscore our tremendous progress towards a sub $100 million rocket launch service.” 

Users have the flexibility to select a launch date, the satellite’s orbit, rocket configuration and the customized service level needed for the mission. Finally, the site will capture savings in extra revenue or mission life, provide the true total cost of the specific mission requirements, and allow users to begin the contracting process.

In addition to building a rocket to meet specific requirements, RocketBuilder offers users an industry comparison regarding key value items only ULA can offer, such as unmatched reliability in the form of insurance savings, schedule certainty for increased on-orbit revenue, and orbit optimization with accurate satellite placement that extends the life of the satellite on orbit.

“Comparing not only the cost of a mission, but the important value items such as schedule certainty is critical for customers, especially our commercial customers,” said Bruno. “An estimated launch slip of just three months can cost a customer upwards of $12 million in lost revenue and $18 million of deferred revenue. ULA’s average launch date slip has been less two weeks for the past five years.”

Organizations that are in the earliest stages of designing or developing spacecraft will be able to use the information provided on the website to make decisions about their designs and the most cost-effective way to get to space.

“RocketBuilder not only educates our customers on the different launch service options and costs, it can also serve as an educational reference for students, teachers, or anyone with an interest in rockets and space,” said Bruno. “Ultimately, RocketBuilder will help drive down costs even further as customers are able to optimize the cost-effectiveness of their designs.”

Atlas V launches for commercial customers are provided through Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services.

To build your launch service, visit  or access it through .

ULA has successfully delivered more than 110 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.