He said that as the nation faces growing threats in the space environment, ULA is unleashing the energy of American ingenuity by developing the Vulcan Centaur. Purpose built to meet our nation’s needs for expanding space missions, the Vulcan Centaur’s innovative technology is transforming the future of launch and will advance America’s superiority in space.
ULA’s Atlas and Delta rockets have been the backbone of American space launch for decades. Building on a progressive history of technology development and advancement, the Vulcan Centaur will advance this rich heritage.
Bruno continued and stated that manufacturing of Vulcan Centaur pathfinder and qualification hardware in the factory has been going on for nearly a year and, just a few weeks ago, the team began to manufacture the first flight hardware. This is a tremendously exciting time as the first flight vehicle is being built. The strong team behind the Vulcan Centaur, including ULA’s supplier base, is proud to be building a rocket to launch critical American defense assets. Vulcan Centaur will provide higher performance and greater affordability while also continuing to deliver our unmatched reliability and precision.
Panelists from key ULA suppliers including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, Dynetics, L3 Technologies, Northrop Grumman and RUAG discussed their timeline, components, state-of-the-art technology and manufacturing techniques as they move forward building and testing hardware in advance of the Vulcan Centaur’s first flight in 2021.
ULA is the nation’s only full-range launch provider and is significantly investing in and modernizing the factory in Decatur, Ala., and upgrading launch facilities to be more capable and flexible.
Concluding, Bruno added that when designing Vulcan Centaur, the company took the best of Atlas and Delta and carried that over to the firm's new rocket. In addition, many of Vulcan Centaur’s major components will be flown first on Atlas V mission, such as the solid rocket boosters, avionics, software, upper-stage engine and payload fairings, lowering the risk of the first flight.