The Jeuns

Bollinger Shipyards to Design and Build Ship to Transport Vulcan Rockets for ULA

May 15, 2024 | by The Jeuns

ULA has announced that it has partnered with Bollinger Shipyards and Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. to design and build a new ship specifically for transporting Vulcan rockets. This new vessel will be used to transport rockets from the factory in Decatur, Alabama to launch sites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Chris Ellerhorst, ULA’s vice president of the Kuiper Program, expressed excitement about the partnership with these two reputable companies. He stated that the new ship is essential to doubling ULA’s launch rate capacity in order to meet the demands of their Amazon customer and ensure timely deliveries of rockets to launch sites.

Bollinger Shipyards has been awarded the contract to build the new roll-on/roll-off vessel, which will be capable of both ocean-going and river service. Construction has already commenced on the 356-foot-long ship at Bollinger’s shipyard in Louisiana, with delivery expected in January 2026.

The new ship, named SpaceShip, will join ULA’s current vessel, RocketShip, to enable transportation capacity for four Vulcan launch vehicles across two voyages to either the East or West Coast. Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. has been hired to oversee the design and build phases of the project in collaboration with Bollinger.

Vulcan is ULA’s cutting-edge rocket, which had a successful inaugural launch in January 2024. This next-generation rocket aims to deliver high performance and affordability while maintaining superior reliability and orbital precision for customers in the national security, civil, and commercial markets.

In particular, ULA’s new Vulcan rocket has been contracted for 38 launches for Amazon to support the deployment of the Project Kuiper constellation. This constellation will provide fast and affordable broadband service to communities around the world. ULA continues to be recognized as the nation’s most experienced, reliable, and accurate launch service provider, dedicated to delivering unmatched value and excellence in every mission.

The inaugural launch of Vulcan marked a new chapter in space capabilities, offering higher performance, greater affordability, and the ability to deliver any payload to any orbit. ULA’s commitment to innovation and excellence ensures that Vulcan will play a key role in advancing space exploration and satellite deployment in the years to come.

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