ULA chief on the Vulcan rocket: “The path to flight one is clear”
United Launch Alliance is closing in on the debut flight of the Vulcan rocket, and it remains on track to fly the vehicle for the first time on December 24.
During a media roundtable on Wednesday afternoon, the chief executive of United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, said, “The path to flight one is clear” for Vulcan. The last major piece of hardware for the rocket, the Centaur V upper stage, arrived at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Monday. All of the qualification testing necessary for the first flight, including for the upper stage, is complete.
In the coming days, Bruno said the Centaur upper stage would be integrated with the Vulcan first stage. Then, the combined vehicle will be rolled to the launch site for a fueling test known as a wet dress rehearsal in December. However, the rocket’s main engines, BE-4s provided by Blue Origin, will not be fired. That’s because the first stage already completed this hot fire test successfully in June.
Author: Eric Berger. [Source Link (*), Ars Technica – All content]