For the primary launch of ULA’s Vulcan rocket, it’s Christmas or subsequent yr

The first stage for ULA's Vulcan rocket was lifted onto its launch platform at Cape Canaveral in January.

Enlarge / The primary stage for ULA’s Vulcan rocket was lifted onto its launch platform at Cape Canaveral in January. (credit score: United Launch Alliance)

Three days at Christmastime would be the closing likelihood for United Launch Alliance to get its new Vulcan rocket off the bottom this yr, the corporate’s chief government introduced Tuesday.

Nonetheless ready for supply of an higher stage and a closing spherical of qualification testing following a take a look at mishap earlier this yr, Tory Bruno, ULA’s CEO, informed CNBC on Tuesday that the Vulcan rocket’s first demonstration flight is scheduled for launch December 24. There are two backup launch dates accessible December 25 and 26, or else the launch must wait till January.

There are threats to this schedule, however ULA officers have been assured sufficient within the timeline to publicly disclose the launch date Tuesday. They’ve additionally informed Astrobotic, which is flying its first industrial Moon cargo lander on the inaugural Vulcan rocket, to ship its spacecraft from the corporate’s Pittsburgh headquarters to Florida in anticipation of a December launch.

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