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Tue, Dec 11, 2007

United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches NRO Satellite

Twelfth ULA Mission Of 2007; Another Scheduled December 20

Aero-News learned this week a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload at 1705 EST Monday from Space Launch Complex 41. This launch marks the fourth Atlas V EELV mission this year and the 12th ULA mission in 2007.

"ULA is proud to have played a critical role for this important NRO mission, ensuring that our nation has the technology and spaceborne assets needed to acquire intelligence worldwide," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president of Atlas programs. "Close teamwork with the NRO Office of Space Launch, the US Air Force Launch and Range Systems Wing and the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral made today's successful mission possible."

This mission, designated AV-015, was launched aboard an Atlas V 401 configuration and it used a single common core booster powered by the RD-180 engine. This Atlas V flight marked the 208th RD-180 firing. Atlas V has 11 previous successful launches including two missions for NASA, one for the NRO, two for the Air Force, and six for commercial customers.

ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for December 20, is the GPS IIR-18 satellite for the Air Force aboard a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, CO, and supported by transition employees in Huntington Beach, CA. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, AL; Harlingen, TX; San Diego, CA; and Denver. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

FMI: www.ulalaunch.com

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