Decatur, Ala., (Jan. 13, 2023) – The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rocket has begun its journey to the launch site in preparation for the first test flight. The certification flight one (Cert-1) rocket was completed, loaded onto the R/S RocketShip outside of ULA’s rocket factory in Decatur, Ala. and is on a 2,000-mile voyage to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“The first Vulcan is complete, and we look forward to the test flight this year. Vulcan is a powerful rocket with a single core booster that is scalable for all missions including heavy class performance normally requiring a Delta IV Heavy configuration,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “Vulcan provides higher performance and greater affordability while continuing to deliver our unmatched reliability and orbital precision for all our customers across the national security, civil and commercial markets.”
Once RocketShip arrives in Cape Canaveral, the Vulcan hardware will be transferred to ULA facilities for inspections and processing ahead of launch preparations. Vulcan will undergo a series of flight readiness verification tests including multiple tanking tests and a wet dress rehearsal, culminating in an engine flight readiness firing. Following the successful final testing, the payloads will be integrated, and the vehicle will be readied for launch.
“The ULA team has worked tirelessly to complete the rocket for the first certification flight,” said Mark Peller, vice president of Vulcan Development. “Now that production is complete, our launch team will begin processing and testing this innovative new rocket in preparation for the first mission which will deliver a payload to the Moon.”