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08-Feb-08 | ULA “not backing away from Delta II”

Last week the United Launch Alliance announced a restructuring of the Delta II program, “building upon its unparalleled record of mission success to make it more cost effective in a challenging market.” (ULA Press Release, via Spaceflight Now) Under the leadership of program director Rick Navarro, ULA will strive to remain “at the forefront of the medium-lift market.”

On the surface, the statement is vaguely reassuring with regard to Delta II’s future. However, it addresses few specifics of the restructuring plan, and “remain[ing] positioned to offer high reliability and competitively priced launch products to support the market needs” does not necessarily preclude a mothballing, temporary or otherwise, of America’s premier workhorse for spaceflight.

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