ULA Is Constructing A New Vessel To Aid In Raising The Vulcan Launch Cadence

ULA Is Constructing A New Vessel To Aid In Raising The Vulcan Launch Cadence

The previous week, ULA made the announcement that it would be constructing a second cargo ship that would be able to move its Vulcan rocket gear between its Decatur, Alabama plant and its launch locations on the East and West Coasts. highlights how crucial the Kuiper satellite constellation from Amazon is to Vulcan’s launch services.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is constructing a second “Roll-on/Roll-off” class ship to help boost its launch cadence with the company’s new Vulcan rocket. This ship will be used to deliver rocket parts to the launch sites. with years, the corporation has done so with its Atlas V and Delta IV components using a spacecraft that is quite identical to it, named RocketShip. In addition, it transported the first Vulcan rocket to Florida prior to launch.

To design and construct the ship, ULA will collaborate with Bristol Harbor Group in Rhode Island and Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana. Renders, however, give the impression that it is a replica of RocketShip.

Because of the factory’s location on the Tennessee River, which merges with the Mississippi and runs into the Gulf of Mexico, ULA has been able to carry its rockets by water, in contrast to SpaceX, which uses roadways. After entering the gulf, ULA’s ship had two options: it could sail through the Panama Canal to reach California, or it could circumnavigate Florida to Port Canaveral.

RocketShip’s and probably SpaceShip’s most brilliant design feature is its ability to function flawlessly in both shallow rivers and wide open waters.

The aim of the second ship, which ULA hasn’t needed up until now, is to accelerate Vulcan’s launch cadence. For Amazon, ULA’s biggest client, to swiftly deploy its Kuiper satellite constellation, that higher cadence will be crucial.

“Over the next year, ULA will be doubling its launch rate capacity in support of our Amazon customer and to ensure timely deliveries of the rockets to the launch site, we needed to build a second ship to support our transportation needs,” said Chris Ellerhorst, ULA’s vice president of the Kuiper Program.

It appears that ULA is heavily depending on Amazon to fulfill its commitment as its flagship client for the Vulcan rocket. Gaining and retaining commercial clients will be crucial to ULA’s survival, especially with indications of a third provider for the Space Force’s substantial National Security Space Launch contract.