The United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced this week that it has signed agreements with Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La. and Bristol Harbor Group Inc. (BHGI), Bristol, R.I., to design, oversee and build a new ship to transport Vulcan rockets from the factory in Decatur, Ala. to the launch sites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

“We are pleased to be partnering with two of the best companies in the business to build our second transportation ship,” said Chris Ellerhorst, ULA’s vice president of the Kuiper Program in a statement. “Over the next year, ULA will be doubling its launch rate capacity in support of our Amazon customer and to ensure timely deliveries of the rockets to the launch site, we needed to build a second ship to support our transportation needs.”

ULA awarded Bollinger Shipyards a contract to build a second roll-on/roll-off vessel classed for both ocean-going and river service. Construction has just begun on the 356’ vessel, Spaceship, at Bollinger’s shipyard located in Amelia, La. Delivery to ULA is expected in January 2026.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with ULA in support of their increasing capabilities and launch capacity,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “Bollinger’s skilled workforce is second to none when it comes to designing, engineering and building complex vessels to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, and we look forward to beginning work on SpaceShip to ensure delivery of Vulcan rockets from the factory to the launch pad.”

ULA has also hired naval architecture firm, Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. to oversee the design and build phases of the project with Bollinger.

ULA states that Vulcan is their next generation rocket, and it saw its successful inaugural launch in January 2024. Vulcan will provide high performance and affordability while continuing to deliver superior reliability and orbital precision for all our customers across the national security, civil and commercial markets, the company said.

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