ULA’s Inaugural Launch of Vulcan Centaur Rocket from Space Coast – Orlando Sentinel

New Era for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur Rocket

After years of anticipation and delays, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully launched its new Vulcan Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This rocket, designed to replace ULA’s Atlas V and Delta IV rockets, took flight on the Certification-1 mission, marking a significant milestone for the company.

Tremendous Excitement and Anticipation

Prior to the launch, ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I’ve done over 400 launches, and this one’s really special because of what it means to our country, to our customers, to the team that has worked so hard.”

Main Payload and Unique Memorials

The Vulcan Centaur rocket carried Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine lunar lander, which is set to potentially make a historic moon landing in February. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Additionally, the rocket carried a half-pound memorial, including the partial remains and DNA of more than 200 people, such as “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and actors James “Scotty” Doohan, Nichelle “Lt. Uhura” Nichols, and DeForest “Dr. McCoy” Kelly. These memorials were organized by Celestis Inc.’s Enterprise Flight, symbolizing the connection between space exploration and human legacy.

The Countdown and Launch

The countdown for the launch began on Sunday afternoon, with various holds in place to ensure safety and readiness. Finally, at 2:18 a.m. on Monday, the Vulcan Centaur rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41, propelling the payloads towards their intended destinations.

Impressive Technology and Testing

Mark Peller, ULA’s vice president of Vulcan development, explained the rigorous qualification process that the Vulcan Centaur rocket underwent. This included years of testing, both at the launch site and through extensive component and subsystem assessments. The rocket’s successful launch is a testament to the technological advancements achieved by ULA.

Future Opportunities and Lunar Landing

The Vulcan Centaur rocket’s mission to deliver Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine lunar lander to the moon sets the stage for future lunar exploration endeavors. The successful execution of this mission opens up new possibilities for scientific research, resource utilization, and further human exploration of celestial bodies.


The launch of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket marks a new chapter in space exploration. With its advanced capabilities and successful mission, this rocket paves the way for future endeavors in lunar exploration and beyond.

Read More of this Story at www.orlandosentinel.com – 2024-01-08 06:22:30

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