CENTENNIAL, Colo., - At the United Launch Alliance (ULA) factory in Decatur, Alabama, production of the first Vulcan Centaur rocket continues, with shipment to the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida scheduled for late next year for processing in preparation for its first launch in 2021.
The Department of Defense has established a selection strategy to ensure a smooth transition to a U.S. engine, while introducing competition, driving down costs and safeguarding continued assured access to space by preventing any capability gaps. Nearly one year ago, the Air Force held a competition and awarded three Launch Services Agreements for public-private partnerships to develop launch vehicles. Phase 2 is the next procurement in the Air Force's strategy.
In the factory, the fabrication of the structure for the first Vulcan Centaur rocket continues, and the team recently completed the booster structural test article in Decatur. In Florida, assembly of the new Mobile Launch Platform has begun in preparation for the first launch.