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ULA unveils Vulcan launch vehicle plans
Posted: Thu, Apr 16, 2015, 2:51 PM ET (1851 GMT)
Vulcan launch vehicle illustration (ULA) United Launch Alliance released Monday more details about its next-generation launch system, including that it will be named Vulcan. The vehicle, formerly known as the Next Generation Launch System, is designed to replace the company's existing Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. Vulcan will be powered by a BE-4 engine under development by Blue Origin, an engine that could be recovered and reused in later iterations of the design. The rocket will initially use the Centaur upper stage currently used on the Atlas, but will later be replaced with a more powerful design. Vulcan will also be able to accommodate solid rocket boosters, as Atlas and Delta do. Vulcan will initially be available late this decade, at a launch cost the company says will be under $100 million.
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