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Vulcan arrives at KSC for its Inaugural Launch

Vulcan arrives at KSC for its Inaugural Launch

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Ian S.

Ian S.

Sun Jan 22 2023Written by Ian S.

After years of anticipation, the Vulcan Centaur rocket has finally arrived at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, where it will undergo final preparations for its upcoming launch carrying the Astrobotic Peregrine lunar lander on board. The Vulcan rocket, developed by United Launch Alliance (ULA), is a next-generation launch vehicle that utilizes advanced technologies to achieve higher performance and greater reliability. This is a significant milestone in the history of space exploration as this launch, currently set for February 25, will pave the way for a new era of lunar missions.


This mission is a major step forward for Astrobotic, as it is their first lunar mission, and for ULA, as it is their first dedicated commercial mission. The launch will also be a major milestone for the United States, as it will establish the country as a leader in the field of lunar exploration and pave the way for more lunar missions. If successful, the Peregrine lander will be the first commercial lander on the moon.


The arrival of the Vulcan rocket at KSC marks the final stage of preparation for the launch. The rocket will undergo a series of tests and inspections to ensure that it is ready for the mission, including a full wet dress rehearsal and a final hot fire ready test. Engineers and technicians will also load the Peregrine lander onto the rocket and perform any necessary adjustments or repairs.

 Image credit: ULA

The launch of the Vulcan rocket and Astrobotic lunar lander is set to take place in the coming weeks, weather and conditions permitting. The launch will be a significant event, attracting the attention of the public and the space industry alike. The successful launch will be a testament to the incredible capabilities of modern technology and the dedication of the teams who worked on the project.


The Vulcan Centaur rocket has been in development for years as a replacement to the company’s workhorse rocket, the Atlas V. The rocket was supposed to launch originally in late 2019, but the mission met many delays on the part of both ULA and Astrobotic. The Vulcan rocket uses BE-4 rocket engines produced by Blue Origin. These engines have had many issues during development, even sparking many memes that ULA CEO Tory Bruno took part in on occasion. However, last October the engines were finally delivered and shortly after Astrobotic sent their lander to ULA for integration.


The Peregrine lander, which was developed by Astrobotic Technology, is a robotic spacecraft designed to land on the surface of the Moon and perform various scientific and commercial missions. The lander is equipped with a variety of instruments and payloads, including cameras, drills, and sample collection tools, that will allow scientists to study the lunar surface in greater detail than ever before. The lander also has a small rover on board that will be deployed once on the lunar surface.

Image credit: Astrobotic

Beyond being used for science, the Peregrine lander also carries with it the payload of many civilians through a program called MoonBox offered by Astrobotic through DHL. The public was allowed to purchase payload space on the mission, and many did, including those from at least 10 countries. Some notables include YouTubers such as MrBeast, institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, and the person writing this article, Ian Sager. The payloads hold names, photos, videos, cryptocurrency, stickers, and more.


The launch of the Vulcan rocket and Astrobotic lunar lander is a historic moment that marks a new era of space exploration and discovery, as we push to explore and understand more about our nearest neighbour in space. The teams at ULA and Astrobotic are working tirelessly to ensure that everything is in place for the successful launch. The world will be watching as the Vulcan rocket takes off, sending the Astrobotic lunar lander on its journey to the Moon.