Congrats to the ULA Team

I got home just in time to catch the liveblogging of the Atlas V STP-1 launch tonight. As several others have already pointed out, this launch was fairly important because it carried the Orbital Express satellite into orbit. Orbital Express is a DARPA project being led by Boeing, that will test out several autonomous on-orbit operations, such as rendezvous and docking, and non-cryogenic propellant transfer. While fully autonomous operations aren’t the only way to do rendezvous and docking, or even propellant transfer, it’s not a dumb approach, and it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out.

Anyhow, congrats to the Atlas V team, who have now had 80 consecutive successes in a row. Watching one of those big vehicles fly is always impressive, though definitely a nail-biter, even with the Atlas team’s relatively impressive track record.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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2 Responses to Congrats to the ULA Team

  1. Karl Hallowell says:

    80 launches? That’s counting the rest of the Atlas series (well the non-ICBM part)?

  2. Jon Goff says:

    Yeah, that’s counting all the launches of all Atlas variants since their last failure, back in the 90s sometime. 80 in a row over several vehicle design iterations is not that shabby, particularly for an expendable.

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