Nasa and United Launch Services (ULS) have agreed the modification of the Nasa Launch Services (NLS) II contract to add the Delta II rocket launch service as part of the contract’s on-ramp provision.

The modification allows ULS to offer as many as five Delta II rockets.

The NLS II contracts provide a range of vehicles to Nasa to meet higher payload mass and orbit requirements, and support the goals and objectives of the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations and Science Mission Directorates.

The NLS II contracts provide for a minimum capability of delivering agency payloads weighing approximately 550lb or more to a minimum 124-mile-high circular orbit with a launch inclination of 28.5 degrees.

As per the contract, launch services to other government agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can also be provided by Nasa.