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.”
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.
The 1,250-kilogram NTS-3 satellite is being built by L3Harris under an $84 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory.
For ULA’s president and CEO Tory Bruno, job No. 1 is to get Vulcan ready for its maiden launch, which he says will happen in early 2021. This will be a critical first step toward the certification of Vulcan for national security missions.
Vulcan scores two new customers as ULA begins factory upgrades in preparation for the transition to Vulcan production.
Sierra Nevada Corp. announced Aug. 14 that it will use United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle for sending Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station starting in late 2021.
United Launch Alliance will begin flying Vulcan hardware on Atlas 5 rockets this year in an effort to give the next-generation launcher bona fide flight heritage before its debut in 2021.
Launch companies that once offered many variants of an individual vehicle to match the specific needs of payloads are now moving to a smaller number of standardized designs, trading off optimization for cost savings.
United Launch Alliance announced Sept. 27 that it has selected Blue Origin to provide the main engine for its next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle, a decision long expected by the industry.
With growing doubts it will be selected by United Launch Alliance for its Vulcan rocket, Aerojet Rocketdyne is looking to smaller launch vehicles as potential customers for its AR1 engine.
United Launch Alliance has picked Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10 engine to power the upper stage of its next-generation Vulcan rocket, the second such contract Aerojet has secured in as many months.