In part one of our interview with United Launch Alliance Chief Executive Tory Bruno, we talked about the company’s efforts to develop the Vulcan rocket, its Centaur upper stage, and other projects at the Colorado-based rocket builder. In part two, below, we asked Bruno about the company’s collaboration with new space company Blue Origin and its ongoing rivalry with SpaceX.
These two relatively new launch companies have taken different approaches with United Launch Alliance, which was founded by legacy aerospace firms in 2006 to provide national security launches for the US government. Blue Origin has sought to work with ULA, reaching an agreement in 2014 to provide BE-4 rocket engines for the Vulcan booster. But the companies are also competing, amicably, as Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket will also bid for national security launches, and there is some overlap in the commercial market interests.
SpaceX has taken a significantly more confrontational posture toward United Launch Alliance from the beginning, suing to stop the formation of ULA in 2005 and battling for government business in the years since, both for military and civil space missions.