DECATUR, Ala. – The new Vulcan rocket, designed by United Launch Alliance, will be built in Decatur, the company announced Monday.
ULA announced the rocket has finished its final design review, and development is still on schedule with the first flight coming in 2021.
The design review took a week and the company said Air Force representatives were included as part of its certification program.
The company plans to re-use much of the existing Atlas hardware for the first launch including the payload fairing (which protects the object being launched and is jettisoned once the rocket escapes the atmosphere), upper stage engines, avionics, software, and solid rocket motors.
ULA added its working with its suppliers to modernize and invest in the Decatur factory, and some state-of-the-art technologies are being added as the plant begins building the new hardware for the first flight.