While NASA doesn't seem to think the EELV's are good enough to take men to space, ULA CEO Michael Gass said while touring the Decatur, AL ULA plant:
Gass said Decatur-made rockets could one day have a role in manned space
missions. He noted that John Glenn entered orbit in a spacecraft perched atop an
Atlas rocket in 1962.
His statement, while oblique, was not idle. According to published reports,
Lockheed is in talks with Bigelow Aerospace to evaluate the business and
technical aspects of using the Atlas 5 for launching manned space vehicles. The
initial focus is on launching spacecraft to service orbital space complexes like
the International Space Station.
"Manned space flight is a possibility" for ULA products, Gass said.