United Launch Alliance
ULA’s Vulcan Centaur Rocket Included in NASA’s Launch Services Program
United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket has been added to the list of launch vehicles for NASA’s Launch Services Program.
Vulcan Centaur’s addition to the program was formalized via a contract modification to ULA’s NASA Launch Services II indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
The on-ramp provision of the NLS II contract allows for the introduction of launch vehicles not currently on the launch services program catalog, NASA said. Rockets included in the launch program capable of lifting 551 lbs of payload into a 124 mi circular orbit at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.
ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said he looks forward to the company’s continued partnership with NASA. Bruno said in a statement that Vulcan Centaur will support challenging space exploration missions with its unique second stage capabilities.
Vulcan Centaur comes in zero, two, four and six solid rocket booster variants. It is designed with a 17.7-ft-diameter payload fairing, ensuring a controlled, safe environment for spacecraft during ascent. It also features a pair of BE-4 engines manufactured by Blue Origin, two RL10 engines from Aerojet Rocketdyne and up to six Northrop Grumman Graphite Epoxy Motor 63XL Solid Rocket Boosters.
The rocket is scheduled for its first launch within the year.
In addition to Vulcan Centaur, ULA offers launch services with its Atlas V rockets. The company’s Atlas V family of evolved expendable launch vehicles have completed more than 70 launches since their debut in August 2002.
Another rocket, called Delta IV, has supported the launch of high-priority U.S. Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and commercial payloads to orbit.
Tags: contract modification launch vechicle NASA NASA Launch Services II NLS II contract space United Launch Services Vulcan Centaur