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ULA gears up for another attempt of Vulcan Centaur rocket maiden launch

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — ULA is making another attempt to complete a critical test for its Vulcan Centaur rocket.

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It’s an engine test known as a “flight readiness firing,” and it must be completed ahead of the rocket’s maiden launch from Florida’s Space Coast.

ULA began fueling its Vulcan Centaur rocket as part of a flight readiness firing ahead of the rocket’s maiden launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

This marks ULA’s second attempt at a flight readiness firing. It was delayed last month after an issue with an engine ignition system during the count.

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The Vulcan Centaur’s first flight could happen as soon as this summer, and the first certification mission will carry some interesting payloads.

“On board is the Astro Biotic Peregrine Lunar Lander, and that’s a NASA Mission Commercial Lunar Lander mission to cut the costs and fly them more frequently,” said Dr. Ken Kremer with Space UpClose. “This will help pave the way for the Artemis lunar landings with the astronauts, finding the resources that are on the moon.”

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The Vulcan rocket will also carry the Celestis Enterprise flight that will take some of the cremated remains of the creator of “Star Trek,” Gene Roddenberry, along with the those of several original cast members.

The firing of the engines is planned for sometime after 6 p.m. But at the moment, ULA is keeping a very close eye on the weather.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.