Air Force is “growing concerned” about the pace of Vulcan rocket launches

Enlarge / The business end of the Vulcan rocket performed flawlessly during its debut launch in January 2024.United Launch Alliance

It has been nearly four years since the US Air Force made its selections for companies to launch military payloads during the mid-2020s. The military chose United Launch Alliance, and its Vulcan rocket, to launch 60 percent of these missions; and it chose SpaceX, with the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters, to launch 40 percent.

Although the large Vulcan rocket was still in development at the time, it was expected to take flight within the next year or so. Upon

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