The United Launch Alliance (ULA), is planning May for the first launch of its much anticipated Vulcan Centaur rocket. The extended vision is expected to be realized by carrying a wide range of activities from satellites to human ashes into space. The launch might send a private moon lander, some of the Jeff Bezos satellites and the mortal remains of Star Trek cast Lt. Uhura, Bones and Scotty into space.
ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno mentioned about the delay in the preparatory work. An updated timetable would allow the 60 meter tall rocket’s debut on May 4, 2023, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The success of the launch will decide the company’s plans to launch the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets.
“We’re being careful and we’re being thoughtful to make sure we have a successful mission,” said Tory Bruno. “We have plenty of time to do this. We’re going to do this the right way.”
The rocket is believed to have a payload of 60,000 pounds which can be launched into low-Earth orbit and one day could become a dependable rocket to transport essential security satellites for the USA. It will use 2 of the BE-4 engines from Blue Origin owned by Bezos and this might be their first launch.
One of the causes for the delayed launch has been The delivery of the Blue Origin-built engines. Since 2014, work on the Vulcan has continued and the company initially aimed 2022 summer for the launch
The Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will be on board, and the moon lander will carry scientific and other payload to the lunar surface. As per NASA the Peregrine Mission 1 will be studying lunar exosphere, thermal properties and magnetic fields as well as radiation. Vulcan will also send 2 of Jeff Bezos’s test satellites into orbit for Amazon’s Project Kuiper. Bezos’s satellite will be tested to take on Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband internet service.
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Also flying on Vulcan will be the cremated remains of Star Trek star, Nichelle Nichols, who played “Lt. Uhura ”, along with more than 150 capsules. Celestis Inc., a Texas based company who is responsible for sending cremated remains to space. The Texas based company charges from $2,995 to $12,995 for similar services. Along with Nichelle Nichols remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, actor James Doohan who played “Scotty” and DeForest Kelley who played “Dr. MacCoy ” will be sent.