Phoenix LLC Assists in United Launch Alliance’s Mission to Launch Rocket Carrying National Security Payload

Phoenix LLC recently played a vital role in ensuring the safety of the successful launch of ULA rocket.


FITCHBURG, Wis., September 25th,2023 –Phoenix LLC, an industry leader in neutron imaging, recently played a vital role in ensuring the safety of the successful launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy rocket, which was carrying a high-priority, multi-billion-dollar national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The rocket and its payload, launched to deliver critical intelligence information from space in support of national security, lifted off on June 22 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Phoenix provided rush-order neutron imaging on a component that was having issues during  pre-launch tests. The neutron images allowed the ULA team to ensure that its replacement components were ready for flight, leading to a solution that allowed ULA to conduct its 156th launch and maintain its 100% mission success rate.

“The imaging services provided by Phoenix brought us to a solution when other types of pre-screening and nondestructive testing methods could not,” said Sheryl Platte, Director, Supply Chain Management, United Launch Alliance. “When delivering national security capabilities into orbit, time is of the essence. The Phoenix team was able to assess our problem and provide a fast turnaround with high-quality images, all of which helped lead to a successful mission.”
“Because we are one of the only sources in the world to offer high-quality neutron radiography without the need for a reactor, we pride ourselves on being reliable, flexible and agile, and we were able to showcase that by helping ULA get back on track to launch in just a couple days’ time],” said Tom D’Orazio, CEO of Phoenix. “It’s our mission to make the world a safer place through neutron imaging, so we were inspired to act quickly and do all we could to help ULA achieve its mission.”

Neutron imaging, or neutron radiography, is a nondestructive testing technique that identifies critical flaws, defects or damage in mission-critical, high-consequence-of-failure components across the aerospace, defense and energy markets. Neutron imaging has historically relied on nuclear reactors, but thanks to new technology developed by research into fusion, Phoenix is able to deliver the same high-resolution image quality without the need for a reactor.

Phoenix, like SHINE Technologies, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illuminated Holdings.


About United Launch Alliance

Leveraging a legacy of 100 percent mission success launching more than 155 missions to explore, protect and enhance our world, United Launch Alliance is the United States’ most experienced and reliable launch service provider with world-leading reliability, schedule confidence, and mission optimization. We deliver value unmatched by any launch services company in the industry, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary. 


About Phoenix

Phoenix is an industry leader in neutron imaging, a critical tool for nondestructive testing in aerospace, defense, health care and other industries. This testing helps manufacturers design better, more efficient, safer products, and provides quality assurance and failure analysis. Phoenix, SHINE Technologies and SHINE Europe BV are all wholly owned subsidiaries of Illuminated Holdings, Inc. Located in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center is the first facility of its kind to offer commercial neutron imaging services without the use of a reactor alongside X-ray imaging.


Katie Rittenhouse