U.S. rocket successfully reached orbit early Monday.
The launch was significant in both scale and market impact.
Conducted by United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.
The 202-foot-tall Vulcan rocket deployed its main payload, the Peregrine lunar cargo lander.
Built by Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh-based company.
Peregrine is headed for the moon with a scheduled landing attempt on Feb. 23.
Astrobotic's mission could mark the first American soft-landing on the moon in over 50 years.
ULA's Vulcan launch is a challenger to SpaceX, Elon Musk's company.
SpaceX had 96 successful missions with Falcon rockets in 2023.
ULA plans to increase Vulcan's launch rate to every other week by the second half of 2025.
ULA CEO Tory Bruno aims for several launches in 2024.
More than 70 Vulcan missions sold, including-
Space Force contracts and launches for Amazon’s Project Kuiper.
Vulcan’s success is a significant milestone for Blue Origin.
Blue Origin supplies the main engines (BE-4) for Vulcan.
BE-4 engines faced delivery delays on their first flight.
Jeff Bezos congratulated the team on social media after the successful launch.
Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket will also be powered by BE-4 engines.