ULA's Vulcan rocket arrives at Cape Canaveral ahead of maiden launch
A brand new rocket is calling Florida’s Space Coast home. United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket arrived at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Saturday ahead of its maiden launch.
ULA’s Vulcan rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral from same launch pad that currently launches the company’s Atlas V.
Vulcan stands at more than 200 feet tall and is powered by two BE-4 main engines, designed and manufactured by Blue Origin. Each engine produces around 550,000 pounds of thrust.
The rocket’s maiden flight, which could happen later this year, will serve as a certification for future Space Force national security missions. It will also carry multiple payloads, including two satellites for Amazon's Project Kuiper into orbit, a test flight of the company's broadband internet constellation.
Vulcan will also loft payloads beyond Earth's orbit. It will carry a lunar lander for Astrobotic to a highly elliptical orbit more than 225,000 miles above Earth to intercept the moon. It will also carry a payload from Celestis Memorial into a solar orbit.
"The Vulcan-Centur will become ULA's workhorse, replacing [ULA's] Atlas V rocet," reports WFIT's Rick Glasby. ULA will still use an Atlas V to launch Boeing's Starliner and a crew of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station later this year.
The core stage of the rocket arrived by barge over the weekend, completing a nearly 2,000 mile journey from ULA’s manufacturing plant in Alabama.
The company says Vulcan will make access to space more affordable by "taking advantage of new manufacturing technologies and streamlined processes."