United Launch Alliance will not be using an upgraded upper-stage engine in upcoming Atlas 5 missions as the company investigates the source of vibrations seen during a May 18 flight.
Technical challenges in the development of ULA's Vulcan rocket could prevent DoD from ending its reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine by 2022 as required by Congress, said GAO.
Launch executives said June 2 that demand for satellite launches likely will surge despite assertions to the contrary.
What would have been the first national security mission for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket will be flown by Atlas 5, the company confirmed May 19.
An Atlas 5 rocket carrying a U.S. Space Force missile-warning satellite and two small payloads lifted off May 18 at 1:37 p.m. Eastern from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.
United Launch Alliance launched NROL-82 on a Delta 4 Heavy rocket April 26 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Amazon has ordered nine Atlas 5 rockets from United Launch Alliance to help place its 3,236-strong Project Kuiper broadband constellation.
ULA is still betting on long-endurance upper stages and believes the technology has a bright future.
ULA received $224. 2 million for two missions named USSF-112 and USSF-87. SpaceX got $159.7 million for USSF-36 and NROL-69.
Millennium Engineering and Integration on Feb. 19 received a $13.2 million contract for services in support of the Vulcan rocket certification.
Tory Bruno warned there are too many venture-funded space launch companies competing for a static number of customers.
Tory Bruno said he is confident that Vulcan and first customer — Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander — will be on the launch pad “by the end of next year.”
A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket on Dec. 10 at 8:09 p.m. Eastern launched NROL-44 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“Over the next 18 months we’ll complete the transition to a fully reusable SpaceX fleet for our national security missions,” said Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise.
ULA said the delay in Dream Chaser’s first mission will not prevent Vulcan from getting certified on time for its first national security mission in 2022.