Boeing and Lockheed Martin have joined their top talent toward creation of the United Space Alliance. Both have previously made big impacts in the space industry and elsewhere, but combining their resources will make them even better and reduce the costs of spaceflight. This new organization hails (ULA) from Denver Colorado and has produced some of the biggest and strongest rockets in the industry to date. Almost a decade later they have launched more than one hundred satellites into orbit aboard their Atlas and Delta rockets. Those satellites are predominantly tasked with assisting in navigation (GPS), weather monitoring, and scientific research. (https://www.space.com/united-launch-alliance.html)
One of their closest competitors is Elon Musk who initially had nothing nice to say about this new venture. No doubt Musk has proven that he can go the distance. The Delta rocket classification was the reigning rocket in the Cold War days. ULAs newest Delta IV Heavy was the most powerful rocket in the world until SpaceX Falcon Heavy knocked them down a slot. Both are capable of foisting considerable payloads into low and high orbits. Both deliver what our current and future space programs require. (https://www.space.com/united-launch-alliance.html)
ULAs Atlas rocket classification was initially borne in the 1950’s. The newest Atlas rocket, Atlas V, was used to take cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Atlas has enjoyed decades of longevity with the space program., but is destined to retire as newer stronger rockets come on the scene. (https://www.space.com/united-launch-alliance.html)
The newest rocket to join ULAs family is the Centaur. It Is a heavy lift, two-to-six-stage launch vehicle originally designed in 2014 that will make her maiden flight from Kennedy Space Force Station early 2023. She was stacked on the launch pad on January 25th and 26th of this year and if the testing goes according to plan it perform a ground test launch shortly thereafter. The ground test entails firing the main engines that can prepare her for her first mission. This is termed Certification Flight-1. If all is good, Centaur will replace Atlas and Delta and become the staples of our space program. (https://www.space.com/united-launch-alliance-stacks-vulcan-centaur-rocket-photos)
Specifications for Vulcan Centaur are as follows. She is 202 feet tall (67 meters) and will be equipped with a Centaur V top stage outfitted with six solid rocket boosters (SRBs). to set her into space fast. The top stage is ignited by two BE-4 methane-liquid oxygen engines that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin designed. (When Centaur takes off she will carry two demonstration satellites for Amazon’s Kuiper Broadband Project, the Peregrine moon lander, and Celestis Memorial Spaceflight payload into space. Astrobiotic is a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer that designed Peregrine. They hope to be the first in 2023 to take a lunar lander to the moon. (https://www.space.com/united-launch-alliance-stacks-vulcan-centaur-rocket-photos)
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