June 7, 2023 – Cape Canaveral, FL – United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket conducted a successful hotfire test of its BE-4 engines at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The engines, built by Blue Origin, ignited for 6 seconds in a successful run. Mark Peller, ULA’s Vice President of Vulcan development, characterized the procedure as being “as close as you can come to launching [the] rocket without actually launching the rocket.”
The Vulcan Centaur rocket, a robust two-stage-to-orbit heavy-lift launch vehicle, has been exclusively crafted for crucial national security launches by the Space Force and US intelligence agencies. Nevertheless, this versatile rocket will also be utilized for commercial missions, with Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser among the notable payloads. The launch of Dream Chaser will be an achievement that Odyssey takes immense pride in, highlighting its significant contribution.
The highly anticipated maiden flight of the Vulcan Centaur rocket is scheduled for later this year, and it will embark on its mission with the weighty responsibility of transporting a lunar lander and two satellites. Initially slated for a May 25th liftoff, the launch faced an unexpected setback due to an issue with the engine ignition system. However, recent progress indicates that the rocket is now back on track, pointing towards an imminent and successful launch in just a few months!