ULA’s next generation rocket to compete for future NASA launches
NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) has added United Launch Alliance’s next generation rocket, the Vulcan Centaur, to the NASA Launch Services II (NLS) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract in accordance with the on-ramp provision of NLS II.
“ULA is honored that NASA LSP has added our Vulcan Centaur rocket to the catalog of launch vehicles available to support future space exploration missions,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “Vulcan Centaur, a single core vehicle, will support challenging missions with unique second stage capabilities unmatched in the industry and we look forward to a continued partnership with NASA LSP.”
The NLS II on-ramp provision provides an opportunity for new and existing NLS II launch services providers to introduce new launch vehicles not currently on the NLS II contract. NLS II contractors must have the ability to successfully launch and deliver a payload to orbit using a domestic launch service capable of placing, at minimum, a 250 kg (551 lb.) payload into a 200 km (124 mile) circular orbit at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.
ULA and its heritage rockets have partnered with NASA to explore the universe and have launched spacecraft to every planet in the solar system including all 20 U.S. led missions to Mars. In addition to missions that explore the universe, ULA and its heritage rockets have partnered with NASA to explore planet Earth, have launched every NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellite and all U.S. weather satellites currently in operation. Overall, ULA has launched 35 missions for NASA LSP with 100% mission success.
Vulcan Centaur is ULA’s next-generation, innovative new launch vehicle that provides higher performance, greater affordability and multi-manifesting flexibility while continuing to deliver unmatched reliability. In 2020, ULA’s Vulcan Centaur was competitively selected by the U.S. Space Force as the best value launch provider for 60 percent of the launches occurring through 2027. Vulcan Centaur is on track for a first launch later this year.
With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 140 missions to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, deliver cutting-edge commercial services and enable GPS navigation.
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Jessica Rye, photo ULA