Vulcan Centaur Tests Resume Despite Questions16th May 2023
United Launch Alliance announced on 11th May that they would resume testing on the Vulcan Centaur rocket. Test firing resuming as early as the week of 15th May.
ULA have not completed their investigation into the upper stage anomaly experienced during their previous testing. However, the company is still positive about launching in the summer. A spokesperson said on 11th May:
“Vulcan is in position atop SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to undergo a full launch day rehearsal tomorrow and flight readiness firing test of its main engines is planned for next week.”
The rocket was taken to Space Launch Complex 41 ready for testing to take place. Tory Bruno, CEO of ULA, took to Twitter to explain that the tanking tests would get back underway even though the investigation into the anomaly back in March was still to be finished.
Readying For Launch
Had the incident of 29th March not occurred, ULA would have been planning the launch of Vulcan Centaur on 4th May. ULA hasn’t given a new date for the launch but will look to carry out its debut in the coming months: “With success here, and a resolution of the Centaur V ground test anomaly, we are projecting for a Vulcan Cert-1 launch this summer,” Bruno explained.
The test fire this week will be livestreamed as final preparations ramp up towards the debut launch. That launch will carry Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander as well as satellites for Project Kuiper by Amazon, as well as a payload for Celestis, which ULA explained will carry “more than 150 flight capsules containing cremated remains (ashes), DNA samples, and messages of greetings from clients worldwide on an endless journey in interplanetary space.”