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  United Launch Alliance (ULA) mission coins

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Author Topic:   United Launch Alliance (ULA) mission coins
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-07-2016 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like NASA's Launch Services Program medallions, United Launch Alliance's (ULA) challenge coins are another group of medals that may not be well known to collectors.

I don't have a complete list of the mission coins, or know when they began, but they date to at least 2007 and include military, civilian and commercial launches (including NASA planetary missions, USAF X-37B launches and NRO classified flights). The generally have a full or partial color obverse (front) and one or two color reverse.

The 1.5" diameter medallions are struck for Atlas and Delta launches. ULA CEO Tony Bruno shared an image of the latest example, for today's (scheduled) Delta IV launch of the Wideband Global SATCOM 8 (WGS-8) spacecraft on Twitter:

Jim Behling
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posted 12-07-2016 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The coins were started by Boeing for Delta IV and Lockheed Martin soon followed up with Atlas V. Once ULA was formed, the design of the coins were standardized. I have many of them, but even with a wife working for ULA, I haven't been able to get one for each mission.

I have started a list but haven't updated it in a year or so.

My list is actually a database of coins and patches for all US ELVs. The issue is that there are many entities that produce coins and patches (and pins), including the spacecraft contractor and launch vehicle contractors, the spacecraft and launch vehicle buyers, the government oversight organization and the launch range.

For example on the Juno mission, I have spacecraft patch from JPL, launch patch from NASA LSP at KSC, 5th Space Launch Squadron patch and 45th Space Wing patch. Coins from ULA, 5th SLS and LSP (maybe the 45th too). For other missions, the NRO has its versions and on others launches, the 45th Launch Support Squadron makes some.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38297
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-07-2016 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, if they date back to Boeing, then there is at least one for every ULA launch since its founding in 2006, so at least 114 coins (including WGS-8).

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 12-07-2016 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only two coins (GPS and GRAIL) were made for east coast Delta II missions. Not every Atlas V has a coin, CLIO and Mexsat are among the ones without coins.

In the ASOC, right outside the LCC, there is a plaque of every Atlas V launch with spacecraft and launch vehicle patch and coin if available.

I use Whitman coin albums and pages to store my coins.

JBoe
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posted 12-07-2016 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was fortunate enough a while back to purchase the GPS IIF-9 ULA coin from eBay. From time to time there are listings on eBay.

The reverse side of Delta ULA coins feature the triangle while Atlas vehicles features the "A" logo.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 12-12-2016 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can confirm that coins exist for the following Delta IV missions:

Eutelsat W5, Demosat, NROL-22, NROL-26, WGS-3, GPS-IIF1, NROL-32, NROL-49, NROL-27, GPS-IIF2, WGS-4, NROL-25, NROL-15, GPS-IIF3, WGS-5, WGS-6, NROL-65, GPS-IIF5, GPS-IIF6, AFSPC-4, EFT-1, GPS-IIF9, WGS-7, NROL-45, NROL-37, AFSPC-6, WGS-8

I have not seen coins for the two DSCS III missions, the DMSP-17 launch or the three GOES (NOP) flights. There also was SLC-6 coin.

I can confirm that coins exist for the following Atlas V missions:

NROL 28, MRO, NROL 30, New Horizons, WGS-1 , OTV-1, STP-1, NROL 24, WGS-2, DMSP-5D3 F18, AEHF-1, LRO/LCROSS, SDO, SBIRS GEO-1, NROL-38, NROL-41, OTV-2, NROL-34, MSL, JUNO, MUOS-1, AEHF-2, RBSP, NROL-36, OTV-3, LDCM, TDRS-K, SBIRS GEO-2, MAVEN, GPS IIF-4, MUOS 2, AEHF 3, NROL-39, TDRS-L, NROL-67, NROL-33, GPS IIF-7, GPS IIF-8, MUOS-3, MMS, OTV-4, GPS IIF-10, MUOS-4, GPS IIF-12, GPS IIF-11, OA-4, MUOS-5, OA-6, NROL-61, OSIRIS-REx, GOES-R

I know there were no coins for CLIO or MEXSAT-2. Doubtful on ones for ICO, PAN, Intelsat-14 and the first five missions.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-28-2017 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There have been a few coins for sale on eBay.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
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posted 09-03-2017 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
I use Whitman coin albums and pages to store my coins.
Are you using the Morgan dollar size pages? For most, find that is the right size.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-03-2017 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JBoe:
From time to time there are listings on eBay.
I have three of these so far... find pretty hard to find and don't come up on eBay that often.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-03-2017 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also have found some coins that seem from same flight, but different departments.

For example there is a NROL-47 coin that on obverse just has "National Reconnaissance Office, United States of America." What would this coin be classified as?

My first ULA coin can be seen here.

JBoe
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From: Churchton, MD
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posted 09-03-2017 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for sharing your latest finds! The ULA coins are very distinctive in that they have the "ULA" logo incorporated in the design. The coins you show are company and agency specific; the W5 is specific to Boeing and the NRO one is specific.

Here are some of the ULA coins I've been able to compile.

You can usually find images of the latest ULA coins directly from the company via Tory Bruno's twitter. He, and other associates, usually posts images during launch vehicle the processing.

denali414
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Posts: 85
From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-04-2017 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the pictures and website info! That is awesome and greatly appreciated.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 09-04-2017 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by denali414:
Also have found some coins that seem from same flight, but different departments.
Launch coins can be produced by the following:
  • The payload - This is where you will see coins produces by the NRO, DOD or NASA spacecraft program office. In the past, NASA LSP use to make coins. These typically mirror the spacecraft mission patch.

  • The launch vehicle contractor - ULA (or in the past Lockheed Martin or Boeing) or Orbital ATK produce coins for launches.

  • Air Force - The supporting Air Force Space Launch Squadron or Space Wing produce coins for missions. These mirror the patches created for the launches.

denali414
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posted 09-05-2017 05:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the information, very much appreciated. That sure is a lot of coins. Really like the artistry of the ULA coins, so far my favorites.

JBoe
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From: Churchton, MD
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posted 09-05-2017 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to what Jim was saying about the specific entity supporting the mission; here's the US Air Force 45th SW.

Orion

Here's an example of the reverse of the ULA coins depending on the launch vehicle.

reverse

tnperri
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posted 09-06-2017 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tnperri   Click Here to Email tnperri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those that collect these, there seems to be quite a few of these recently listed on eBay.

denali414
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posted 09-06-2017 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really? Under what category? I never seem to find them. I find the LSP (Launch Service Program) coins, but not the ULA's. Any help greatly appreciated.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
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posted 09-06-2017 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are very rare. Just have to constantly search for them.

JBoe
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From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 09-06-2017 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes those coins are very hard to come by. I've picked up a few (probably have about 10 in my collection) from eBay earlier this year. You have to figure out who is selling them and who worked for ULA as well since they are only given out to the employees that worked on the various rockets/payloads.

I usually use the following search key words in eBay: Atlas V, Team Delta, ULA, ULA coin, Atlas V coin/Atlas coin. But, the true trick is to constantly search and use various keywords to find these coins.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-06-2017 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! That is mostly what had been searching and coming up empty, still working on that "patience" thing.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-08-2017 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got a Boeing American flag challenge coin like yours jboe, except on border of flag (and Proud Team Member) has ULA and Boeing and 5SLS and 45SW. And on back a ram's head and "GPS-11f-7" with an Atlas rocket and the "A" symbol. Once I figure out how to use Flickr, I'll post a picture.

JBoe
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posted 09-09-2017 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's great denali414! The ULA Atlas ones also have the "One launch at a time" motto. I found a couple new ones in a few searches (non eBay searches) and will post photos of them later.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 09-09-2017 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by denali414:
Just got a Boeing American flag challenge coin...
ULA coins either have Delta or Atlas on the back. Anything else is non ULA.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 09-09-2017 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was calling that one a "Boeing challenge coin." Would that be correct? Or is it classified as something else? Thanks.

Still trying to get a handle on all the different variants.

Jim Behling
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posted 09-09-2017 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any with "Proud Team Member" is 5th Space Launch Squadron (SLS) or 45th Space Wing (SW).

JBoe
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Registered: Oct 2012

posted 09-09-2017 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was able to find a few more ULA coins. In my non-eBay search to recipient to the Juno medallion sent some of his Juno artwork into ULA and posted on Mr. Bruno's twitter. This could be an "in" to getting these medallions!

ULA Coins - 9-9

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 10-31-2017 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just picked up a ULA Cygnus OA-7 (Atlas V) coin and Cygnus OA-7 Air Force coin. Collection slowly growing.

tnperri
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posted 10-31-2017 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tnperri   Click Here to Email tnperri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gents, if you guys would like me to add these type of coins to my website, I can do that but of course you would have to provide me all the pics and details needed.

JBoe
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From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 10-31-2017 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tim, I've been always kicking around the idea of cataloging the medals and coins in my collection and really getting down to the specifics. I really like the idea of telling the history of the event, component, or contribution of the coin or medallion along with the owner. I have some great correspondence with some of the previous owners. That's why I like coin/medallion collecting, you can tell so much in such a small space.

I would really enjoy contributing to your site as well as possibly featuring a segment much like the Stamps and Covers. Would it take away from your flown medallions with the addition of non-flown medallions?

quote:
Originally posted by denali414:
Just picked up a ULA Cygnus OA-7 (Atlas V) coin and Cygnus OA-7 Air Force coin. Collection slowly growing.
I picked up the OA-7 and TDRS-M coins from the same seller.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
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posted 10-31-2017 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Joe, I figured you were the other bidder.

And Tim, I think Jim Behling above has all the medals, and Joe has posted many of the pics here. I'm not sure how hard to switch to your site that would be. I'll help in any way you need.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-02-2017 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by denali414:
I was calling that one a "Boeing challenge coin." Would that be correct?
No, Boeing doesn't make challenge coins since the formation of ULA.

tnperri
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posted 11-02-2017 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tnperri   Click Here to Email tnperri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jason, I don't think it will hurt. Just additional pages. Contact me offline.

JBoe
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posted 11-03-2017 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a few of the latest designs I was able to find.

ULA Coins

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
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posted 11-14-2017 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Still searching for the JPPS1 coin (like the pic you have for it Jason).

JBoe
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Posts: 847
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 11-14-2017 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me know if you find on (JPSS one). I like the raised feature and "printed graphics/" satin finish medallions.

The other thing is to keep an eye out for the ULA Vulcan medallions. I think that they are less of those since that's the new launch vehicle or follow-on to the Atlas.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1172
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 11-15-2017 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JBoe:
The other thing is to keep an eye out for the ULA Vulcan medallions.
There are none of them. Vulcan won't fly for several years.

JBoe
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Posts: 847
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 11-15-2017 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the below image is a photo of an acquaintance's challenge coin display of Tory Bruno and featured on his Twitter page. The inset (with the yellow border) is an enlarged image of a Vulcan coin as identified with the "V" logo.

denali414
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From: Raleigh, NC USA
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posted 11-15-2017 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that's an interesting way to display the coins — never seen a table inset like that. Have three of the usual, seven-row coin cases in use now. Jason thanks for pic; like that idea.

By the way, the ULA store sells Vulcan merchandise already (but not coins unfortunately).

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 11-16-2017 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JBoe:
The inset (with the yellow border) is an enlarged image of a Vulcan coin...
Then that is the only one.

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