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    Sources say prominent US rocket-maker United Launch Alliance is up for sale / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 1 March - 16:50

Two men in business suits stand next to a model spaceship.

Enlarge / Tory Bruno (L), CEO of United Launch Alliance, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at a news conference in 2014. (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

One of the world's most important rocket companies, United Launch Alliance, may be sold later this year.

The potential sale has not been disclosed publicly, but three sources confirmed to Ars that potential buyers have been contacted about the opportunity. These sources said a deal is expected to be closed before the end of this year and that investment firm Morgan Stanley and consulting firm Bain & Company are managing the transaction.

The sale of United Launch Alliance, or ULA as it is known within the industry, would mark the end of an era that has lasted for nearly two decades. The company was officially formed in 2005 as part of a deal brokered by the US government, ensuring the military had access to both Atlas and Delta rockets to put national security satellites into space. To form ULA, Lockheed Martin and Boeing merged their launch businesses into a single company, each taking a 50 percent stake.

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    ULA chief says the BE-4 rocket engine’s turbopump issues are resolved / ArsTechnica · Monday, 26 October, 2020 - 15:03

A BE-4 rocket engine undergoes tests in West Texas.

Enlarge / A BE-4 rocket engine undergoes tests in West Texas. (credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin appears to have solved some development issues related to the turbopumps in its powerful BE-4 rocket engine .

United Launch Alliance chief executive Tory Bruno said Friday that the problem was "sorted out," and that the full-scale, flight-configured BE-4 engine is now accumulating a lot of time on the test stand. Bruno made his comments about one hour into The Space Show with David Livingston.

Bruno's company, ULA, is buying the BE-4 engine to provide thrust for the first stage of its upcoming Vulcan-Centaur rocket . This booster may make its debut next year, although ULA is still awaiting delivery of BE-4s for the first flight. Two of these large engine—each providing about 25 percent more thrust than the RS-25s used on the Space Shuttle—will power each Vulcan rocket.

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