33 minutes - Steven - banner

ULA targets Christmas Eve for Vulcan rocket launch

The Vulcan rocket for the Cert-1 mission stands at SLC-41 during testing in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 12, 2023. Credit ULA
The Vulcan rocket for the Cert-1 mission stands at SLC-41 during testing in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 12, 2023. Credit ULA

London, 26 October 2023 – United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, plans to launch the inaugural flight of its Vulcan rocket on Christmas Eve, reports CNBC. Tory Bruno, CEO of ULA, spoke at the CNBC Technology Executive Council Summit where he shared that the target window will run from the 24th to 26th of December.

Currently, ULA is working to build and qualify the upper stage of the rocket which is expected to be completed in November. If the December window is missed the launch will be moved to January. The Vulcan launch has already experienced several delays earlier this year, including the explosion of an engine during testing by its supplier Blue Origin. 

The first Vulcan mission will carry a commercial lunar lander built by Astrobotic and a payload for Celestis. The payload will contain the ashes of people who wanted to be buried in space as part of a memorial service.

Once Vulcan has launched, ULA plans to launch several times in 2024 before accelerating to a rate of every other week by the second half of 2025. The company has added a contract to launch Amazon’s Kuiper satellites. This has brought the backlog for launches to about 50-50 balanced between government and commercial work.

Check Also

JPL

ESA and NASA join forces to land Europe’s rover on Mars

ESA and NASA have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the provision of key elements for the Rosalind Franklin rover mission. The space Agencies are consolidating their cooperation on the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin mission with an agreement that ensures important US contributions, such as the launch service, elements of the propulsion system needed for landing on Mars and heater units for the Rosalind Franklin rover. Furthermore, ESA is working to launch its most ambitious exploration mission to search for past and present signs of life on Mars in 2028.