ULA has selected Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine for the Vulcan Centaur’s booster stage. The selection follows the completion of a competitive procurement contest. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled booster will be powered by a pair of BE-4 engines, each producing 550,000 pounds of sea level thrust. ULA held a multiyear competition that pitted startup Blue Origin against industry incumbent Aerojet Rocketdyne, which proposed its AR1 engine. Once operational, the Vulcan, powered by the BE-4, will end reliance on the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V currently used by ULA. Continue reading
On October 30, 2017, SpaceX successfully launched the Koreasat-5A satellite from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Falcon 9 delivered the Koreasat-5A to its targeted orbit and the satellite was deployed approximately 36 minutes after liftoff. Continue reading
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced a new website that enables customers to shop for launch services and sets standard price transparency. It also provides insight into reliability, schedule assurance, and performance of the Atlas V launch vehicle. Continue reading
By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.
A Zenit 2SB launch vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 12 carrying the Elektro-L2, a geosynchronous meteorological satellite, into orbit. The Zenit 2SB is also referred to as the Zenit 3SLBF by some sources. Continue reading
Over the next 10 years, the launch industry will be greatly shaped by how the United States pursues its ambitious space exploration goals. After the Columbia disaster in 2003, then-U.S. President George W. Bush set a new course for human space exploration in the United States. Under Bush’s plan, which eventually became known as Project Constellation, U.S. astronauts would return to the moon and eventually land on Mars. To meet the goals of that program, NASA began development of a new and two new heavy-lift launch vehicles – one that would carry the CEV and a larger one that would carry supplies for lunar and Martian exploration.