“CisLunar – the space between Earth and the moon – holds vast opportunities for humans. Reliable, accessible, affordable access to space will help open economic opportunities. ULA’s ability to provide reliable, affordable access to space, which will provide critical infrastructure to supporting a space economy.”
“Originally proposed as the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage by Boeing in 2006 as a concept for use as a new Delta IV second stage — and subsequently, the Advanced Common Evolved Stage by its corporate successor, United Launch Alliance by 2010 — ACES was intended to boost satellite payloads to geosynchronous orbit or, in the case of an interplanetary space probe, to or near to escape velocity. Other alternative uses included a proposal to provide in-space propellant depots in LEO or at L2 that could be used as way-stations for other rockets to stop and refuel on the way to beyond-LEO or interplanetary missions, and to provide the high-energy technical capacity for the cleanup of space debris.
The late-2000s ACES proposal by ULA also had a predecessor at Lockheed Martin, prior to the merger of Boeing and Lockheed Martin launch vehicle manufacturing and operations to form ULA in 2006. Known then ...