Production of the first Vulcan Centaur rocket at the United Launch Alliance (ULA) factory in Decatur, Alabama continues, with shipment to the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida scheduled for late next year for processing in preparation for its first launch in 2021.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has established a selection strategy to ensure a smooth transition to a U.S. engine, while introducing competition, driving down costs and safeguarding continued assured access to space by preventing any capability gaps. Nearly one year ago, the U.S. Air Force held a competition and awarded three Launch Services Agreements for public-private partnerships to develop launch vehicles. Phase 2 is the next procurement in the Air Force’s strategy.
“The nation is facing a contested space environment, and we are unleashing the energy of American ingenuity by developing Vulcan Centaur to meet our nation’s need for expanding space missions,” said Tory Bruno, ULA President & CEO. “Vulcan Centaur’s flight proven design, coupled with innovative technology, is transforming the future of space launch and will advance America’s superiority in space.”