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ULA’s Vulcan rocket sails closer to launch

DECATUR – Though made for space travel, the United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket is nearing the of its water journey.

The giant rocket, recently loaded onto the R/S RocketShip outside of ULA’s rocket factory in Decatur, is completing its 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,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “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.

“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 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.”

Decatur, Ala., (Jan. 13, 2023) The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Certification-1 (Cert-1) booster is transported from ULA’s Rocket Factory in Decatur, Ala., to R/S RocketShip to begin its journey to the launch site at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., ahead of its first launch in 2023. (United Launch Alliance/Contributed)

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