Vulcan, An Alternative Rocket To SpaceX, Has Started Preparation For Its First Launch

The United Launch Alliance has developed a new rocket, Vulcan, in a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. This rocket is an alternative to SpaceX which has started its preparation for its first launch. The first flight of a new rocket is more difficult than building a rocket.

Vulcan was previously reported to be launched in May of this year, but during the testing in March, a propellant tank in the rocket cracked. Hydrogen leaked from this tank to create a fireball that destroyed the upper stage of Vulcan, along with damaging the stand for testing. This led to the delay in its launch.

Tory Bruno, CEO of the company, reported on Thursday that the problem had been understood, and they have started fixing the rocket, which will be ready for launch later this year over a telephone roundtable meeting.

Rocket To SpaceX

In the present decade, the space industry has started booming, with more companies trying to develop and launch spacecraft to send both astronauts and satellites to Earth’s orbit. While previously, it was only SpaceX, a rocket company which is started and run by Elon Musk, which dominated this market.

SpaceX’s prolific launch rate and lower prices became a boon for satellite operators, US Space Force, and NASA. But companies like Space Force don’t want to rely on a single company. The Space Force requires two successful Vulcan missions to be confident in sending its spy satellites and other national security equipment with the rocket.

The longer United Launch Alliance takes to complete its initial two missions successfully, the longer it will have to wait to get certification for its company.

United Launch Alliance has enjoyed a monopoly in the last decade while launching national security satellites and equipment via its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. But had no commercial customers as the rockets were quite expensive, which they wanted to change.

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