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United Launch Alliance Requires COVID Vaccinations For Employees

ULA’s Tory Bruno (right) had the honor to host Dr. Eugene Parker (center), heliophysics pioneer, and Dr Thomas Zurbuchen (left), NASA associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, on the launch pad to see the rocket that will launch Parker #SolarProbe on its way to the sun. Photo: United Launch Alliance

Rocket company United Launch Alliance is requiring its employees to receive the COVID vaccine.

Starting September 1, ULA is requiring the vaccine as a condition of employment, becoming one of the first aerospace companies to mandate vaccinations for its employees.

"I took this decision with great reluctance," said CEO Tory Bruno. "The much higher transmissibility of the Delta variant has affected operations at the Cape [in Florida] and in Decatur [Alabama]. Without this action, we would be unable to hold our mission commitments or help keep teammates safe who cannot be vaccinated."

While ULA is headquartered in Colorado, the company employs about 470 people in Florida. ULA has facilities on Florida’s Space Coast, and launch pads at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

In a statement to WMFE, the company said "this requirement places ULA in a much better position to meet our nation’s needs and our manifest commitments while protecting the health of everyone at our facilities.”

ULA is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. This year, the company launched two missions from Cape Canaveral and is set to launch Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft and a NASA science mission to the Trojan asteroids in the coming months.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.