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  United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Vulcan rocket

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Author Topic:   United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Vulcan rocket
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-13-2015 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
United Launch Alliance Unveils America's New Rocket: Vulcan

Innovative Next Generation Launch System will Provide Country's Most Reliable, Affordable and Accessible Launch Service

United Launch Alliance (ULA) unveiled its Next Generation Launch System (NGLS) today at the 31st Space Symposium. The new rocket, Vulcan, will transform the future of space by making launch services more affordable and accessible. The NGLS brings together decades of experience on ULA's reliable Atlas and Delta vehicles, combining the best features of each to produce an all-new, American-made rocket that will enable mission success from low Earth orbit all the way to Pluto.

"More capabilities in space mean more capabilities here on earth," said Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance. "Because the Next Generation Launch System will be the highest-performing, most cost-efficient rocket on the market, it will open up new opportunities for the nation's use of space. Whether it is scientific missions, medical advancements, national security or new economic opportunities for businesses, ULA's new Vulcan rocket is a game-changer in terms of creating endless possibilities in space."

To help give all Americans a chance to play a role in the future of space, last month ULA launched an online naming competition that allowed Americans to vote on their favorite name for the NGLS. More than one million votes were cast, and Vulcan was the top choice.

"As the company currently responsible for more than 70 percent of the nation's space launches, it is only fitting that America got to name the country's rocket of the future," added Bruno.

By streamlining the processes and rocket design, and developing a new all-American engine, ULA will continue to be the country's most innovative, cost-efficient and technically rigorous launch company, providing a wide range of services to a broad customer base – including the most critical U.S. government missions.

"ULA's precision and focus makes the remarkable seem routine. Our track record of 95 successful launches in less than nine years – an average of one launch per month – is unmatched in the industry. Our ability to deliver critical national security, scientific and commercial satellites into the correct orbit every time is filled with risks and challenges, and ULA has delivered every time. ULA's reliability is and will continue to be part of the mission," Tory Bruno concluded.

At today's news announcement, Bruno also unveiled the Sensible, Modular, Autonomous Return Technology (SMART) initiative, which will be introduced into NGLS and allow ULA to reuse the most expensive portion of the first stage – the booster main engines – via mid-air capture. This allows a controlled recovery environment providing the confidence needed to re-fly the hardware.

Step one of NGLS will consist of a single booster stage, the high-energy Centaur second stage and either a 4- or 5-meter-diameter payload fairing. Up to four solid rocket boosters (SRB) augment the lift off power of the 4-meter configuration, while up to six SRBs can be added to the 5-meter version.

In step two, the Centaur second stage will be replaced by the more powerful, innovative Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES), making the NGLS capability that of today's Delta IV Heavy rocket. ACES can execute almost unlimited burns, extending on-orbit operating time from hours to weeks.

Last year, ULA announced that it had partnered with Blue Origin, LLC, a privately funded aerospace company owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, to provide a cutting-edge engine for the NGLS while also providing a viable alternative to the Russian-made RD-180. This collaboration to fund the development of a new, U.S.-made BE-4 rocket engine, is part of the cost-reduction innovation for our customers. The BE-4 is designed for low recurring cost and will meet commercial and NASA requirements as well as those of the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The BE-4 uses low-cost liquid natural gas fuel and is designed for reuse.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 90 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-13-2015 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
'Behold the powerful Vulcan': ULA reveals new rocket system, name

United Launch Alliance, the U.S. company behind the Atlas and Delta family of rockets, has unveiled Vulcan, its next generation launch system.

The new Vulcan rocket, which got its name through a poll that attracted more than a million votes, incorporates new engines, a reuse approach that features a mid-air recovery and a new upper stage aimed at enabling complex on-orbit operations.

"[Vulcan is] going to take the best parts of Delta and Atlas and combine them with new and advanced technology to provide a rocket that is not just as reliable and certain as Atlas has been, but also much more powerful, with higher performance, greater flexibility and [is] significantly more affordable," Tory Bruno, United Launch Alliance CEO, said in a press conference held Monday (April 13) at the Space Symposium in Colorado.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-24-2016 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
United Launch Alliance Completes Preliminary Design Review for Next-Generation Vulcan Centaur Rocket

United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle with dual Blue Origin BE-4 engines. The PDR, a major milestone in development of the Vulcan launch vehicle, confirms that the design meets the requirements for the diverse set of missions it will support. The ULA team will build upon this milestone to refine and test key elements of the design while executing a busy manifest of 14 launches in 2016.

"The completion of the Vulcan Centaur rocket's PDR is the first of several major and very exciting milestones in the launch vehicle's development," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and chief executive officer. "We have a strong path to get to a 2019 flight test of this new, highly-capable American launch vehicle."

The Vulcan Centaur rocket design leverages the proven success of the Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles while introducing new technologies and innovative features which will ensure a reliable and affordable space launch service along with engines developed and manufactured in the United States. The Vulcan Centaur provides a path to replacement of the current fleet of Delta IV and Atlas V vehicles and will service a diverse range of markets including commercial, civil and national security space customers.

"Vulcan Centaur will revolutionize spaceflight and provide affordable, reliable access to space with an American main engine," said Mark Peller, ULA's program manager for major development.

In addition to the Blue Origin BE-4 engine, Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing the AR1 engine which could power the Vulcan Centaur. Such strategic partnerships for American main engines, Orbital ATK for the solid rocket boosters and RUAG Space for domestically-produced composite structures enable collaborative development of Vulcan maximizing the value of this new launch capability.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 100 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-11-2018 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
United Launch Alliance Selects Aerojet Rocketdyne's RL10 Engine for Next-generation Vulcan Centaur Upper Stage

United Launch Alliance (ULA) today announced Aerojet Rocketdyne as a strategic partner for the RL10 upper stage engine for ULA's next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket following a competitive procurement process.

"ULA and Aerojet Rocketdyne have a long and successful history together that began with the first flight of our Atlas and Delta rockets in the 1960s," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. "We could not be more pleased to have selected the proven and reliable RL10 to power our Vulcan Centaur upper stage."

This partnership is a long-term agreement for Aerojet Rocketdyne to provide upper stage propulsion for the next decade. As part of this partnership, Aerojet Rocketdyne will provide RL10s and develop the RL10C-X, the next generation of the RL10 family. The RL10C-X will increase the use of additive manufacturing and introduce other advanced technologies to improve the quality, reliability, affordability and performance.

"Key determining factors to our selection included price and delivery schedule," said Bruno. "We look forward to continuing our strong partnership to ensure a successful introduction of Vulcan Centaur."

Over the course of nearly 60 years, more than 450 RL10 engines have flown on various ULA heritage vehicles with an unmatched record of mission success.

ULA continues its competitive procurement process for the booster engine and plans to make a down select soon.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-27-2018 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance release
United Launch Alliance Building Rocket of the Future with Industry-Leading Strategic Partnerships

ULA Selects Blue Origin Advanced Booster Engine for Vulcan Centaur Rocket System

United Launch Alliance's (ULA) next-generation rocket - the Vulcan Centaur - is making strong progress in development and is on track for its initial flight in mid-2020. The Vulcan Centaur rocket design leverages the proven success of the Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles while introducing advanced technologies and innovative features.

"Vulcan Centaur will revolutionize spaceflight and provide affordable, reliable access to space for our current and future customers," said Tory Bruno, ULA's president and CEO. "We are well on our way to the introduction of Vulcan Centaur – the future of U.S. rocket manufacturing. With state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing techniques, this rocket is designed specifically for low recurring cost."

The new rocket design is nearing completion, and the booster preliminary design and critical design reviews have been completed. Vulcan Centaur will have a maximum liftoff thrust of 3.8 million pounds and carry 56,000 pounds to low Earth orbit, 33,000 pounds to a geo-transfer orbit and 16,000 pounds to geostationary orbit with greater capability than any currently available single-core launch vehicle.

"Our new rocket will be superior in reliability, cost and capability – one system for all missions," said Bruno. "We have been working closely with the U.S. Air Force, and our certification plan is in place."

Following completion of a competitive procurement, ULA has selected Blue Origin's BE-4 engine for Vulcan Centaur's booster stage. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled booster will be powered by a pair of BE-4 engines, each producing 550,000 pounds of sea level thrust. As previously announced, ULA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne's RL10 engine for the Centaur upper stage, Northrop Grumman solid rocket boosters, L‑3 Avionics Systems avionics, and RUAG's payload fairings and composite structures for the new Vulcan Centaur rocket system.

"We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Blue Origin and look forward to a successful first flight of our next-generation launch vehicle," said Bruno.

"We are very glad to have our BE-4 engine selected by United Launch Alliance. United Launch Alliance is the premier launch service provider for national security missions, and we're thrilled to be part of their team and that mission," said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith. "We can't thank Tory Bruno and the entire United Launch Alliance team enough for entrusting our engine to powering the Vulcan rocket's first stage."

Vulcan Centaur will bolster U.S. manufacturing by adding to the more than 22,000 direct and indirect American jobs in 46 states supported by ULA programs.

"ULA has chosen the best systems available to create the Vulcan Centaur," said Bruno. "These engines and components will ensure ULA continues to lead the way in space exploration, maintain our record of success and remain America's launch vehicle for our nation's most vital missions."

Vulcan Centaur is ULA's next-generation, American rocket system. As a result of these agreements, the Vulcan Centaur will surpass current rocket capabilities and launch services at significantly lower costs, while still meeting the requirements of ULA's cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Air Force to certify the Vulcan Centaur for national security space missions.

"Strong partners are critical to the cutting-edge innovation that is leading us into the next generation in space and ensuring mission success," said Bruno. "Partnerships with Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Northrop Grumman, L-3 Avionics Systems and RUAG will allow the Vulcan Centaur to transform the future of space launch for the government and commercial markets, making launch more affordable, accessible and commercially available."

With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the world's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered 130 satellites to orbit that provide Earth observation capabilities, enable global communications, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, and support life-saving technology.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-08-2019 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance release
United Launch Alliance Progresses Towards Purpose-Built Vulcan Centaur For National Security Space Missions

First Flight Hardware Being Manufactured and Launch on Track for 2021

Today, United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Tory Bruno gave an update on the continued progress of the Vulcan Centaur during a ULA media event at the 35th Space Symposium.

"As the nation faces growing threats in the space environment, ULA is unleashing the energy of American ingenuity by developing the Vulcan Centaur," said Bruno. "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.

"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," said Bruno. "It is a tremendously exciting time as we watch the first flight vehicle being built."

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.

"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," said Bruno.

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.

"When designing Vulcan Centaur, we took the best of Atlas and Delta and carried that over to our new rocket," said Bruno. "In addition, many of Vulcan Centaur's major components will be flown first on Atlas V missions such as the solid rocket boosters, avionics, software, upper-stage engine and payload fairings, lowering the risk of the first flight."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-20-2019 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
ULA Completes Final Design Review for New Vulcan Centaur Rocket

First Flight on Schedule for 2021

United Launch Alliance leaders and engineers completed an important milestone with the conclusion of the system Critical Design Review (CDR) for the company's new Vulcan Centaur rocket. The system-level CDR is the final review of the design for the overall rocket.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for the ULA team and a significant milestone in the development of a rocket – signaling the completion of the design phase and start of formal qualification," said Tory Bruno, ULA's president and CEO. "Vulcan Centaur is purpose built to meet all of the requirements of our nation's space launch needs and its flight-proven design will transform the future of space launch and advance America's superiority in space."

The system CDR was a week-long detailed review of the entire Vulcan Centaur system with the primary focus to verify all of the elements will work properly together as a system. As part of the certification process with the U.S. Air Force, Air Force representatives are included as part of the design review.

"ULA's Atlas and Delta rockets have served as the backbone for American space launch for decades and our next-generation rocket will advance this rich heritage," said Bruno. "Vulcan Centaur will provide higher performance and greater affordability while continuing to deliver our unmatched reliability and precision."

When the first Vulcan Centaur rocket flies in less than two years, a high percentage of the rocket will have flown before on ULA's Atlas launch vehicle including the fairing, upper stage engines in a dual configuration, avionics, software and solid rocket motors.

"Vulcan Centaur brings together the best of Atlas and Delta technology, and we are flying all of the major components that we can on Atlas V first to reduce the risk for our customers on the first flight," said Bruno.

ULA and its suppliers have invested in and modernized the factory in Decatur, Alabama, bringing in state-of-the art manufacturing technologies. Flight hardware is already being built for the first flight, and the production is on schedule for the initial launch in 2021.

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