Saffron Restaurants reservation ULA is building a new ship to help increase the Vulcan’s launch frequency

ULA is building a new ship to help increase the Vulcan’s launch frequency


ULA announced last week that it will build a second freighter that can transport its Vulcan rocket hardware from its factory in Decatur, Alabama, and its launch sites on both the East and West Coasts. The press release also highlights the importance that Amazon’s Kuiper satellite constellation plays in Vulcan’s launch services.

To help accelerate the launch pace of the company’s new Vulcan rocket, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will build a second “Roll-on/Roll-off” class ship to transport rocket components to launch sites. The company has used a very similar vessel called RocketShip for its Atlas V and Delta IV components for many years. It also moved the first Vulcan rocket on its pre-launch journey to Florida.

ULA will work with Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana and Bristol Harbor Group in Rhode Island to design and build the vessel. However, renders make it look like a copy of RocketShip.

Unlike SpaceX, which uses roads, ULA has used water to transport its rockets thanks to the factory’s location on the Tennessee River, which connects to the Mississippi River which then flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Once in the gulf, ULA’s ship could swing around Florida to Port Canaveral or pass through the Panama Canal on its way to California.

The genius of RocketShip’s design, and most likely SpaceShip’s as well, is that it can operate smoothly both on the open sea and in shallow rivers.

The purpose of a second ship, which ULA has not needed to date, is the hope of speeding up the Vulcan’s launch rate. That increased pace will be important for ULA’s largest customer, Amazon, to quickly deploy its Kuiper satellite constellation.

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

ULA appears to be banking heavily on Amazon to come through as the lead customer for its new Vulcan rocket. With signs emerging for a third party provider for the Space Force’s major National Security Space Launch contract, acquiring and retaining commercial customers will be key to ULA’s survival.

However, rumors of ULA’s acquisition are still circulating.

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