ULA stops selling its centerpiece Atlas V, setting path for the rocket’s retirement
United Launch Alliance won’t be selling any more of its workhorse Atlas V rockets, and it has stopped buying the launch vehicle’s Russian-made rocket engines for good, the company’s chief executive told The Verge. ULA’s decision sets up the retirement of one of the US government’s most trusted launch vehicles and is expected to mark the end for Russia’s iconic — but controversial — RD-180 engine, an engineering marvel and a core source of revenue for Russia’s space program.
“We’re done. They’re all sold,” CEO Tory Bruno said of ULA’s Atlas V rockets in an interview. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has 29 Atlas V missions left before it retires sometime in the mid-2020s and transitions to its upcoming Vulcan…