NASA’s Launch Services Program has initiated an on-ramp process that resulted in the addition of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket to the NASA Launch Services II indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract.
“ULA is honored that NASA LSP has added our Vulcan Centaur rocket to the catalogue of launch vehicles available to support future space exploration missions,” Tory Bruno, president and CEO of ULA and a previous Wash100 Award winner, said in a statement published Thursday.
The NLS II on-ramp process provides contractors an opportunity to introduce new rockets that are not included in the IDIQ contract. Vendors should have the domestic launch service capability to launch and bring a 551-pound payload into a 124-mile circular orbit at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.
In 2020, the U.S. Space Force selected Vulcan Centaur through a competitive process to support 60 percent of the launch missions occurring through 2027. The rocket is set to perform its maiden flight in late 2021.