United Launch Alliance is currently developing its next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket that promises to transform the future of space launch by delivering the highest value launch service at a lower cost while providing unparalleled reliability and precision to access space. Vulcan Centaur offers tremendous flexibility in a single launch system that features a simple design capable of reliably and cost effectively delivering a full spectrum of payloads to their intended destinations..
Proven: Evolved from the flight proven and highly successful Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles, Vulcan Centaur blends flight proven hardware for reliability with innovative technologies to deliver affordability.
Affordable: Vulcan Centaur provides the highest value launch service for lower cost with optimal performance to meet the full range of customer requirements.
Flexible: Vulcan Centaur offers unprecedented flexibility in a launch system – from low Earth orbit to deep space destinations in the far reaches in the solar system. The simple, single core design is more cost-efficient for all customers, whether defense and national security, NASA science and human spaceflight, or commercial.
Upper Stage: The Vulcan Centaur’s upper stage will be powered by two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engines using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. Key components of the RL10 that will help power Vulcan Centaur with be built using additive manufacturing to drive affordability while maintaining the reliability our customers have come to expect. The RL10 has an impressive record of success that spans more than five decades with approximately 950 successful in-space firings.
Control Thrusters: Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106 Reaction Control System thrusters provide pitch, yaw and roll control for the Vulcan Centaur upper stage, as well as settling burns.
Pressure Vessels: ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, manufactures the pressure vessels that support the first and second stages of the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle.
- May 11, 2018 - RL10 Engine to Power ULA’s New Vulcan Centaur Upper Stage
- April 16, 2018 - RL10 Selected for OmegA™ Rocket
- Feb. 29, 2016 - Aerojet Rocketdyne, ULA Announce Public-Private Partnership With USAF to Develop RD-180 Replacement Engine