Military Space

Atlas 5 boosts GPS navsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Wednesday and boosted a $245 million Air Force navigation satellite into space, a welcome development after another rocket, also powered by Russian first-stage engines, exploded Tuesday. Read More...

X-37B spaceplane ends secret mission with smooth landing

An unpiloted Air Force spaceplane glided back to Earth Friday after a record stay in orbit, closing out a clandestine military mission with a computer-controlled landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
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Air Force takes over 2 shuttle processing facilities

Boeing is modifying the Kennedy Space Center's remaining two orbiter processing facilities to service the secret X-37B spaceplane for the Air Force, NASA announced Wednesday.
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Atlas 5 boosts classified satellite to space

After waiting out bad weather, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off Tuesday and boosted a classified satellite into space, putting on a brief but spectacular show as it streak away through low clouds. Read More...

Atlas 5 boosts GPS navsat into orbit

Lighting up the night sky, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a $245 million Global Positioning System navigation satellites into orbit Friday night, the seventh of 12 upgraded navigation beacons joining a globe-spanning constellation.
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Delta 4 rocket finally takes off on oft-delayed military mission

Running five days late because of stormy weather and trouble with ground equipment, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket finally thundered to life and climbed away from Cape Canaveral Monday, boosting three military satellites into orbit. (UPDATED)
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Government seeks dismissal of SpaceX contract challenge

The U.S. government has filed a motion with the Court of Federal Claims to dismiss a key element in a lawsuit by SpaceX challenging a sole-source multi-rocket contract awarded to United Launch Alliance last December. Read More...

ULA details engine initiative, unveils ads to counter 'misinformation'

United Launch Alliance, criticized by competitor SpaceX for high costs and use of Russian rocket engines, ratcheted up its counter offensive Wednesday, detailing a new initiative to explore U.S. engine replacement options and unveiling new ads to counter 'misinformation.' (UPDATED) Read More...

Atlas 5 lifts off with classified NRO satellite

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket roared to life and climbed away through a cloudless sky Thursday, kicking off a classified mission to boost a National Reconnaissance Office satellite into orbit.
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Delta 4 boosts GPS navsat into orbit

Running a day late because of bad weather, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying a $245 million Global Positioning System satellite vaulted smoothly into space Friday in an ongoing push to modernize the globe-spanning navigation system for military and civilian users alike.
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Court lifts unjunction barring payments for Russian engine

A federal judge Thursday lifted an injunction barring United Launch Alliance from buying Russian engines for the company's Atlas 5 rocket, concluding such transactions do not violate U.S. sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's actions in Ukraine.
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ULA defends 27-rocket 'block buy' contract

Responding to complaints from SpaceX, United Launch Alliance said it won a sole-source military launch contract because it was the only company that fully met Pentagon requirements.
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SpaceX challenges Air Force launch contracts

SpaceX founder and chief designer Elon Musk said Friday his company is filing a lawsuit to protest what he said were unjustified, sole-source Air Force launch contracts. Read More...

ULA Delta 4 boosts GPS navsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket thundered to life and climbed into space Thursday evening, boosting an upgraded Global Positioning System navigation satellite into orbit.
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Atlas 5 rocket carrying NRO spysat blasts off

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket roared to life and climbed away from its California launch pad overnight Thursday, kicking off a classified mission to boost a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into orbit.
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Atlas 5 rocket boosts military comsat into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a $900 million military communications satellite into space early Wednesday, the third in a series of high-speed, jam-resistant relay stations.
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Delta 4-Heavy boosts NRO spysat into space

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy, the most powerful rocket in the U.S. inventory, thundered away from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Wednesday on a classified National Reconnaissance Office mission. Read More...

Delta 4 lofts WGS military comsat into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying the latest in an international fleet of military communications satellites climbed into orbit Wednesday after a picture-perfect Florida launch. Read More...

Atlas 5 boosts heavyweight Navy comsat into orbit

A heavyweight Navy communications satellites was boosted into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket Friday, the second in a series of five relay stations in a globe-spanning $5 billion network.
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Delta 4 boosts military comsat into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket vaulted away from Cape Canaveral Friday and lofted a $342 million military communications satellite into orbit after a picture-perfect climb to space.
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Atlas 5 boosts GPS navsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a new Global Positioning System satellite into space Wednesday, the latest in a series of upgraded navigation beacons with improved accuracy and longevity.
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Atlas 5 boosts missile early warning satellite into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a missile early warning satellite into space Tuesday, the second in a new generation of infrared surveillance stations.
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Air Force launches unmanned spaceplane on third flight

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday, boosting an unmanned military spaceplane into orbit for the program's third classified mission. Read More...

Despite low thrust, Delta 4 boosts GPS satellite into orbit (UPDATED)

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket boosted a Global Positioning System satellite into space Thursday to replace a navigation station that has operated twice as long as expected. Read More...

Delta 4 boosts secret military satellite into orbit (UPDATED)

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, the most powerful in the post-shuttle U.S. inventory, boosted a top-secret National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into space early Friday.
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Atlas 5 rocket launches classified military payload (UPDATED)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite blasted off Wednesday, successfully boosting its secret payload into orbit. Read More...

Unmanned Air Force spaceplane lands after secret mission

An unmanned Air Force spaceplane dropped out of orbit and glided to a computer-controlled California landing early Saturday to close out a classified 469-day military mission.
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Vandenberg AFB preps for X-37B landing

The Air Force is preparing to bring its unmanned X-37B spaceplane back to Earth after 15 months of clandestine military operations. Landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., is expected sometime in the next two weeks. Read More...

Atlas 5 rocket boosts military comsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a $1.7 billion military communications satellite into orbit Friday, the second in a planned constellation of advanced jam-resistant relay stations.
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Atlas 5 boosts military comsat into space

An Atlas 5 rocket boosted a powerful new communications satellite into space Friday evening, the first of five planned relay stations that will act like orbital cell phone towers for military personnel around the world. Read More...

Delta 4 boosts military comsat into space

An Air Force communications satellite that will be used in part to relay commands to unmanned drones was boosted into orbit Thursday by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket (UPDATED).
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Delta 4 rocket boosts upgraded GPS satellite into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early Saturday, boosting an upgraded Global Positioning System navigation satellite into orbit for the Air Force. Read More...

Missile warning satellite boosted into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket successfully boosted a $1.3 billion missile early warning satellite into orbit Saturday after a picture-perfect liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Read More...

Atlas 5 rocket takes off on secret mission

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base early Friday carrying a secret National Reconnaissance Office payload. Read More...

Musk unveils plans for low-cost heavy lift rocket

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled details of a new commercial heavy lift rocket Tuesday -- the Falcon Heavy -- that he said will deliver twice the cargo to orbit at one third the cost of competing rockets. Read More...

Air Force Delta 4 rocket lofts secret satellite into space

A United Launch Alliance medium-class Delta 4 rocket boosted a secret National Reconnaissance Office satellite into space Friday, capping a busy week on Florida's Space Coast. Read More...

Atlas 5 rocket carrying Air Force spaceplane takes off

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off and boosted an unmanned Air Force spaceplane toward orbit Saturday to kick off a classified military mission. It was the second flight of an X-37B spacecraft. Read More...

United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket boosts secret spy satellite into space

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy, the most powerful rocket ever launched from the West Coast, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Thursday on a classified mission to boost a spy satellite in orbit. Read More...