ULA Readies Vulcan for 150 Meter Hop

ULA Readies Vulcan for 150 Meter Hop

Cape Canaveral, FL--United Launch Alliance (ULA) has recently placed a Vulcan test vehicle on the pad at Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41). Like their competitor, SpaceX, ULA will begin first with a 150 meter hop of Vulcan later this week. Vulcan will first light it's two BE-4 engines at low thrusts to propel it up to altitude. Then it will shut off one to enable a controlled descent back into SLC-41's launch/landing pad. It is unclear when a 12.5 kilometer belly flop with two or four GEM-63XL solid rocket boosters may occur, however, sources say that a successful test to 150 will likely allow for a Summer belly flop. A summer belly flop would put Vulcan on track for a maiden orbital launch at the end of this year.