A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan VC2S rocket launched the first certification mission from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida on Jan. 8, 2024 at 2:18 a.m. ET. Photo credit: United Launch Alliance


Beyond Gravity Celebrates the Successful Launch of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur Rocket

A world class winning team including design, manufacturing, and lots of hard work brought hundreds of our teammates together for the first launch of the Vulcan Centaur Rocket. The rocket climbed into orbit carrying four components made by Beyond Gravity teammates in the United States and Europe.

(Decatur, AL.) Today, hundreds of teammates from Beyond Gravity proudly watched as ULA’s Vulcan Rocket lifted from the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Beyond Gravity holds contracts with United Launch Alliance to build four major components for the Vulcan Centaur. On this particular mission, Beyond Gravity built and supplied the Payload Fairings, the Interstage Adapter, the Heat Shield, and the Payload Attachment Fitting. 

  • Topping off the rocket are Payload Fairings, built by Beyond Gravity. Vulcan is encapsulated in a 5.4-meter payload fairing, a sandwich composite structure made with a vented aluminum-honeycomb core and graphic epoxy face sheets.
  • Our Interstage Adapters are composite structures that connect the main stage of a rocket with its upper stages. They play a vital role during the launch. 
  • The Payload Attachment Fitting (PAF) is a sandwich composite structure creating the mating interface from spacecraft to second stage and Payload Fairing. 
  • The Beyond Gravity Heat Shield is designed to reduce the effect of high temperatures in around equipment on board the rocket. 


André Wall, CEO of Beyond Gravity stated, “It was thrilling to witness the Vulcan Rocket launch today. I was honored to be part of and to contribute to ULA’s mission success. History was made today but now our sights are set on enabling Beyond Gravity to provide the most competitive launches every 1-2 weeks, in order to satisfy planetary mission demands in Space.”

Executive Vice President of Launchers, Paul Horstink, had this to say about the teamwork that brought us to this point: “I’m really proud to see our four products being successfully launched today on the great Vulcan Rocket: our Payload Fairings, Heat Shield, Interstage Adapter and Payload Adapter. We started product development in 2015 and now are scaling up our production facilities in Alabama with our second factory coming online soon. The team of engineers and technicians have done a great job the last few years supporting this launch.”

World Leading Supplier for Composite Supplier for Composite Technology for Payload Fairings

Beyond Gravity is the world's leading supplier of composite technology for Payload Fairings, including for the European Ariane and Vega launch vehicles, the American Atlas, and Vulcan rockets. Before and during launch, as well as during the journey through the atmosphere, a rocket's valuable cargo is protected by a Payload Fairing, which is the nose cone on the top of the rocket.

Major Contracts from Amazon and ULA

In March 2023, Beyond Gravity secured a major contract directly from Amazon to develop and manufacture customized, scalable dispenser systems. Beyond Gravity was also awarded the contract for the delivery of 38 shipsets to U.S. rocket builder United Launch Alliance (ULA) for its Vulcan rockets that will take Amazon’s Kuiper constellation into space. A shipset comprises three Composite Structures, which include a Payload Fairing (the top of the launch vehicle protecting the satellites on their way into orbit), the Heat Shield that protects the launch vehicle from the heat generated by the engine during launch, and an Interstage Adapter that interfaces to the launcher’s upper stage.

Beyond Gravity is preparing to move into a new factory next door to the existing facility in Decatur. The new facility will allow teammates to build at least 38 shipsets a year. The company has a target date of Q1 to move into the new factory.