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.
A National Reconnaissance Office satellite flew to orbit Nov. 13 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
Executives of major launch companies said they doubted there was sufficient demand for more than a few small launch vehicle developers, citing their own efforts to provide rideshare launch services for smallsats.
The recent streak of launch scrubs proves that systems are working like they should, said Col. Douglas Pentecost.
Lockheed CFO Ken Possenriede: “We now have a price point that will allow ULA to get its fair share of awards over SpaceX"
Bruno has pitched the idea of a "strategic propellant reserve" to the National Space Council
Bruno: "This is is just shocking in terms of the scale and ubiquity of this threat."
While ULA builds the Atlas 5 for NROL-101 it also is working to get NROL-44 launched on a Delta 4 Heavy.
Brig. Gen. Cothern: What type of launch vehicles will be needed “depends on the threats."
ULA statement: “Initial indications were with a ground system, and we are working to confirm the exact cause."
The hot fire abort of NROL-44 happened three seconds before the Delta 4 Heavy was to lift off.