You Can Vote to Name America’s New Rocket from ULA

Help ULA name America’s next rocket to space. Credit: ULA
Voting Details below
Watch ULA’s March 25 Delta Launch Live – details below
Update 3/26: 2 new names have been added to the voting list – Zeus and Vulcan !
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United Launch Alliance (ULA) is asking the public for your help in naming their new American made rocket, now under development that “represents the future of space”- and will replace the firms current historic lines of Atlas and Delta rocket families that began launching back near the dawn of the space age.

Eagle, Freedom or GalaxyOne – those are the names to choose from for the next two weeks, from now until April 6.

UPDATE 3/26: 2 new names have been added to the voting list – Zeus and Vulcan !

ULA says the names were selected from a list of over 400 names submitted earlier this year by ULA’s 3400 employees and many space enthusiasts.

ULA has set up a simple voting system whereby you can vote for your favorite name via text or an online webpage.

Currently dubbed the “Next Generation Launch System,” or NGLS, ULA’s new president and CEO Tory Bruno is set to unveil the next generation rockets design and name at the National Space Symposium on April 13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“ULA’s new rocket represents the future of space – innovative, affordable and reliable,” said Bruno, in a statement.

“More possibilities in space means more possibilities here on earth. This is such a critical time for space travel and exploration and we’re excited to bring all of America with us on this journey into the future.”

The NGLS is ULA’s response to what’s shaping up as a no holds barred competition with SpaceX for future launch contracts where only the innovative and those who dramatically cut the cost of access to space will survive.

The first flight of the NGLS is slated for 2019.

Here’s how you can cast your vote for America’s next rocket to April 6, 2015:

Visit the website: http://bit.ly/rocketvote

OR

Voters can text 22333 to submit a vote for their favorite name. The following key can be used to text a vote:

• ULA1 for “Eagle”
• ULA2 for “Freedom”
• ULA3 for “GalaxyOne”

3/26 Update: Zeus and Vulcan have been added to the voting list

One small step for ULA, one giant leap for space exploration. Vote to name America’s next ride to space: Eagle, Freedom, or GalaxyOne? #rocketvote http://bit.ly/rocketvote
One small step for ULA, one giant leap for space exploration. Vote to name America’s next ride to space: Eagle, Freedom, or GalaxyOne? #rocketvote http://bit.ly/rocketvote

“Name America’s next ride to space. Vote early, vote often … ” says Bruno.

I have already voted – early and often.

Over 11,000 votes were tallied in just the first day.

Currently ULA is the nation’s premier launch provider, launching at a rate of about once per month. 13 launches are planned for 2015- as outlined in my earlier article here.

But ULA faces stiff and relentless pricing and innovative competition from NewSpace upstart SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk.

NGLS is ULA’s answer to SpaceX – they must compete in order to survive.

To date ULA has accomplished a 100 percent mission success for 94 launches since the firms founding in 2006 as a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. They have successfully launched numerous NASA, national security and commercial payloads into orbit and beyond.

Planetary missions launched for NASA include the Mars rovers and landers Phoenix and Curiosity, Pluto/New Horizons, Juno, GRAIL, LRO and LCROSS.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft onboard launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Florida.  Credit: Ken Kremer- kenkremer.com
ULA’s new rocket will launch from this pad in 2019
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft onboard launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer- kenkremer.com

ULA’s most recent launch for NASA involved the $1.1 Billion Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission comprised of four formation flying satellites which blasted to Earth orbit atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, during a spectacular nighttime blastoff on March 12, 2015. Read my onsite reports – here and here.

“Space launch affects everyone, every day, and our goal in letting America name its next rocket is to help all Americans imagine the future of endless possibilities created by affordable space launch,” Bruno added.

NGLS will include some heritage design from the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets, but will feature many new systems and potentially some reusable systems – to be outlined by Bruno on April 13.

ULA plans to phase out the Delta IV around 2019 when the current contracts are concluded. The Atlas V will continue for a transitional period.

The Atlas V is also the launcher for Boeing’s CST-100 manned space taxi due to first launch in 2017.

NGLS will launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the same pad as for the Atlas V, as well as from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

ULA’s next Delta IV launch with GPS IIF-9 is scheduled shortly for Wednesday, March 25, with liftoff at 2:36 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral.

Live webcast begins at 2:06 p.m. Live link here – http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx

Vote now!

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Ken Kremer

Tory Bruno, ULA President and CEO, speaks about the ULA launch of NASA’s Orion EFT-1 mission on Delta IV Heavy rocket in the background at the Delta IV launch complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer- kenkremer.com
Tory Bruno, ULA President and CEO, speaks about the ULA launch of NASA’s Orion EFT-1 mission on Delta IV Heavy rocket in the background at the Delta IV launch complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer- kenkremer.com

16 Replies to “You Can Vote to Name America’s New Rocket from ULA”

  1. “To date ULA has accomplished a 100 percent mission success for 94 launches since the firms founding in 2006 ”

    They have been spectacularly successful. I wouldn’t have thought that rocket launchers could be so reliable, going for 100 successes in a row this year. I don’t understand why they want to fix what isn’t broken. But maybe they will keep the Atlas along with the new one. It will, by the way, obviously be named “Eagle” to compete with the “Falcon”. Hopefully a reusable eagle, not just an eagle egg falling out of the nest.

  2. With the some 400 culled names they came to these three? They are just so predictable. How about a more sexy name like, the “Athena” series, or something, but not these hackneyed terms. Awwkhh!

    1. I wish they had more imagination and named it something like “Zonk”. But “Awwghh” is a good suggestion too.

  3. “Eagle” “Freedom” and “GalaxyOne”, is that really the best they could come up with? Eagle just screams Spacex, GalaxyOne screams Virgin Galactic and Freedom is very safe and boring… I guess Freedom then is the best fit for ULA!

  4. What lame names, why stop at such weak jingoism? Go all in with
    MURIKAMEGADONG4EVAR!!!!1111ONE!

    Or maybe Porkbarrel Boondoggle 1 was already taken by some other Boeing/Lockheed project?

  5. They could have come up with a name that incorporates their consortium’s acronym, “ULA”. DracULA, for instance.

  6. Two new names will be added to the list TOMORROW (Friday Mar 20, 2015) per Tory Bruno’s twitter feed! Someone on a forum somewhere I read suggested “Thunderbird”, which is pretty good, but has the added benefit of being able to announce “Thunderbird is GO” during launch polls 🙂 I tweeted this to Tory Tuesday and he said he loved it 🙂 So I’m hoping it shows up in the new list – I won’t claim credit for the idea, but I’ll claim credit for getting it on the list if it shows up 😀
    @VAXHeadroom

    1. That is absolutely brilliant! – “Thunderbird is GO”
      and Tory Bruno does indeed confirm on his twitter account that 2 names will be added. lets hope it passes legal. excellent job my friend!

    2. Hahah, the power of social media! 😀

      Anyone at ULA listening? Just reset the voting and give us some real choises to choose from!! (Please note that the name is going to be international.)

  7. 3/26: Story has been updated with 2 new names: Zeus and Vulcan have just added. Of course there is only 1 logical choice! Vote early and Vote often – says ULA CEO Tory Bruno !!!

    1. It’s going to have to be Zeus, because if you search for “Vulcan” you will know (if you didn’t already) why the name is still taken. (Hint: “Avro”) Besides, Zeus is actually a pretty good name for a rocket. It has been used before, of course, but AFAIK it is not currently in use.

  8. No choice but to paraphrase William Shakespeare verse: “But what’s in a name, what roses and invite invited to participate otherwise, smelled the same.”

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