Tory Bruno, CEO of United Launch Alliance and a previous Wash100 Award recipient, said the company plans to expand the use of next-generation upper stages for the Vulcan Centaur rocket’s long-endurance missions, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
Bruno told attendees at the America’s Future Series summit that the space sector must now focus on reusability and explore the use of vehicles following spacecraft deployment procedures.
He noted that the U.S. has “a pretty big lead” in capabilities with the capacity to reach high-energy orbits and that ULA is looking into expanding the endurance of its technologies such as the Centaur 5 upper stage by up to 600 times.
“That will enable a whole new set of missions that you cannot even imagine doing today,” said Bruno.
Moon missions also present “tremendous economic potential” and must be capitalized, he added.