United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a space company that has postponed the first flight of its next-generation rocket by at least a month. According to Bloomberg, the launch of Vulcan is now scheduled to take place only in early May.
According to rumors, the rocket itself will be completed by mid-April, but the main cargo, the Astrobotic Technology-built lunar lander, will only be launched during special short periods during the month when the Moon is well positioned relative to the Earth. This opportunity will only be available on May 4th.
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United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has been developing the Vulcan rocket for eight years. The Atlas V is ULA's current workhorse, which currently uses Russian RD-180 engines, and will make ULA one of the Pentagon's main contractors for US military launches.
In 2018, ULA selected the Blue Origin BE-4 engine for Vulcan. The same engine will be used in the New Glenn rocket of Blue Origin, which is being built to transport cargo to low Earth orbit in the first stage.
The BE-4's development itself was postponed for years. Blue Origin and ULA said they hoped to be able to fly five years later. However, ready-to-use copies did not appear until the end of last year. ULA intends to install the rocket on the launch pad in the coming days
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