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Photo courtesy of Bristol Harbor Group Inc.

Illustration courtesy of Bristol Harbor Group Inc.

Bollinger Picked to Build New Space Rocket Transport Ship

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 0
May 13, 2024

Space launch company United Launch Alliance (ULA) has partnered with Bollinger Shipyards and Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. to design and build a new ship for transporting Vulcan space rockets.

The ship will facilitate the delivery of rockets from the factory in Alabama to launch sites in Florida and California.

Bollinger Shipyards has been awarded the contract to build the new ship, a roll-on/roll-off vessel suitable for both ocean-going and river service. Construction of the 356-ft-long ship has just started at Bollinger’s shipyard in Amelia, Louisiana, with an estimated delivery to ULA in January 2026.

“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. “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.”

The new ship, named SpaceShip, will join ULA’s existing RocketShip, which has been in service for years. This addition will boost ULA’s maritime fleet, allowing the transportation of four Vulcan launch vehicles across two voyages to either the East or West Coast.

Beyond the shipbuilding partnership, ULA has also engaged naval architecture and marine engineering firm Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. to supervise the design and build phases of the project with Bollinger. ULA has worked with BHGI on the design since May 2023.

“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.”

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