Enlarge / NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen, left, and President and CEO for United Launch Alliance Tory Bruno shake hands after viewing the ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Parker Solar Probe in August. (credit: NASA)
After a long career in the development of space and missile programs, Salvatore T. "Tory" Bruno was named chief executive of United Launch Alliance in August 2014. In this new position, Bruno has faced enormous challenges.
Over the last half-decade, SpaceX has emerged as a viable competitor, begun to fly its Falcon 9 rocket more frequently, and competed successfully for lucrative military launch contracts. Meanwhile, ULA faced a mandate from the US government to end its reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 engine for its workhorse rocket, the Atlas V booster.
In response to these challenges, Bruno has sought to cut costs (through layoffs and other restructuring) and increase the commercial competitiveness of ULA, while also developing the brand-new Vulcan rocket with US-made components at the same time. Bruno also must answer to two demanding parents, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, each of which own 50 percent of his company and have competing aerospace interests. A little more than four years on the job, Bruno appears to be making progress. Most notably, the company recently won a $967 million contract from the US Air Force to complete development of the Vulcan rocket, which ULA says will be ready to fly by 2021.
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