United Launch Alliance has completed the final design review of a company-developed launch vehicle as part of the process to secure certification from the U.S. Air Force.
The company said Monday it worked with USAF representatives during the week-long assessment on the Vulcan Centaur system.
ULA expects most of Centaur components such as fairing, upper stage engines, solid rocket motors and avionics to fly on the Atlas platform ahead of the new rocket's initial flight, which is projected to happen sometime in 2021.
Tory Bruno, president and CEO of ULA, said the company designed the rocket to help address U.S. space launch mission requirements and maintain the country's advantage in space.
The launch services provider invested money to equip its factor in Decatur, Ala., with modern production systems.
ULA is building flight hardware for the initial bringing in state-of-the art manufacturing technologies. Flight hardware is already being built for the maiden voyage of Centaur.