Air Power is “rising involved” concerning the tempo of Vulcan rocket launches

The business end of the Vulcan rocket performed flawlessly during its debut launch in January 2024.

Enlarge / The enterprise finish of the Vulcan rocket carried out flawlessly throughout its debut launch in January 2024. (credit score: United Launch Alliance)

It has been practically 4 years for the reason that US Air Power made its alternatives for corporations to launch army payloads throughout the mid-2020s. The army selected United Launch Alliance, and its Vulcan rocket, to launch 60 % of those missions; and it selected SpaceX, with the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters, to launch 40 %.

Though the massive Vulcan rocket was nonetheless in improvement on the time, it was anticipated to take flight throughout the subsequent 12 months or so. Upon making the award, an Air Power official mentioned the army believed Vulcan would quickly be able to take flight. United Launch Alliance was growing the Vulcan rocket with a purpose to now not be reliant on RD-180 engines which are in-built Russia and utilized by its Atlas V rocket.

“I’m very assured with the choice that we have now made right this moment,” William Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Power for acquisition, know-how, and logistics, mentioned on the time. “We now have a really low-risk path to get off the RD-180 engines.”

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