ULA’s 1st Vulcan Centaur rocket launch looks spectacular in these photos and videos (Image Credit: Space.com)
United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rocket lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday (Jan. 8) at 2:18 a.m. EST (0718 GMT).
The launch — the first ever for the powerful Vulcan Centaur — sent Astrobotic’s private Peregrine moon lander toward Earth’s nearest neighbor, where it is expected to land on Feb. 23. Success in that effort would be historic: No private spacecraft has ever touched down softly on the lunar surface.
Here we take a look at some of the first photos from this stunning nighttime launch.
Vulcan Centaur could fly again relatively soon. The rocket’s next mission, which will send Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space plane toward the International Space Station on a robotic cargo mission, may lift off as early as April.
ULA has four other missions on Vulcan Centaur’s manifest after that in 2024 as well, for a total of six potential flights this year.