Aerojet Completes Successful Space Launch System Rocket Engine Test Series

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Sept. 30, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Today’s RS-25 engine test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center completed the Retrofit-2 test series, which validated modernized, lower-cost components for new RS-25 engines to be used on the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket.

(more…)

Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded NASA Contract for Orion Spacecraft Main Engine

Artist’s impression of Orion over Earth. (Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — NASA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne to build the Orion Main Engine (OME), the primary propulsion element for NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will be used to explore deep space. Under the contract, which runs through 2032, Aerojet Rocketdyne will deliver up to 20 new OME engines for use on future Artemis missions beginning with Artemis VII, or to support other NASA-sponsored, deep space exploration missions.

(more…)

Aerojet Rocketdyne Expands Los Angeles Facility for NASA’s Moon and Mars Rocket

Aerojet Rocketdyne cuts the ribbon on an extension to the company’s Los Angeles rocket production facility that will support NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Artemis program. Pictured left to right: Jim Maser, Sr. Vice President of Space at Aerojet Rocketdyne; Johnny Heflin, Manager of NASA’s Space Launch System Liquid Engines Office; Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President; Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA); Dr. Paul McConnaughey, Senior Advisor, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate; Fernando Vivero, Aerojet Rocketdyne Los Angeles Site Lead. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne has finished a major expansion of its Los Angeles facility to support production of new-generation RS-25 main engines for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which will send astronauts to the Moon as early as 2024.

(more…)

ULA Atlas V Set to Launch Boeing CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft on Second Orbital Flight Test

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is secured atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on July 17, 2021. (Credit: Boeing/Damon Tucci)

Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., July 27, 2021 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on the second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch is planned for July 30 at 2:53 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The live launch broadcast begins no earlier than 2 p.m. EDT on July 30 at  www.ulalaunch.com.

(more…)

NASA Announces Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Reactor Concept Awards

Illustration of a conceptual spacecraft enabled by nuclear thermal propulsion. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is leading an effort, working with the Department of Energy (DOE), to advance space nuclear technologies. The government team has selected three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system. The reactor is a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilize high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel.

(more…)

Aerojet Rocketdyne Demonstrates 3D Printed RL10C-X Engine in Full Mission Capability During Altitude Hot Fire Test Series

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 11, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed a successful RL10C-X altitude hot fire test series that put the next generation engine through the rigors of a typical spaceflight mission. Using a test chamber that simulates the vacuum of outer space, the RL10C-X, which produces roughly 24,000 pounds of thrust, was tested in a flight-like configuration to demonstrate the engine’s capability to complete a typical mission profile, including multiple restarts.

The RL10C-X is the next evolution of the company’s RL10 upper-stage engine and contains major components – including the injector and combustion chamber – produced with the company’s industry-leading 3D printing technology.

(more…)

NASA’s Space Launch System Core Stage Heads to Kennedy Space Center

Artemis I core stage leaves Stennis Space Center on the Pegasus barge. (Credit: NASA)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — The first core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket departs Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, following completion of the Green Run series of tests of its design and systems. The stage now is in route to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, its final stop prior to NASA’s launch of the Artemis I mission around the Moon. At Kennedy, the core stage will be integrated with the rest of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft in preparation for launch. Through the Artemis program, NASA will return humans, including the first woman and first person of color, to the Moon and prepare for eventual journeys to Mars.

(more…)

Final RS-68A Engine for Delta IV Heavy Completes Hot-fire Acceptance Test

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RS-68A rocket engine successfully completed its final acceptance test April 12, 2021, on the B-1 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The RS-68A powers the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket to send critical spacecraft into orbit. (Credit: NASA Stennis)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Today (April 12), the world’s most powerful hydrogen-fueled rocket engine built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the RS-68A, completed its final hot-fire acceptance test for use on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle on the B-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

(more…)

Boeing Statement on SLS Core Hot Fire

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk, left, and Rick Gilbrech, director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center, right, watch as the core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket undergoes a second hot fire test in the B-2 Test Stand, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The hot fire test is the final stage of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon. (Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Mississippi, March 18, 2021 (Boeing PR) — Deep space exploration took an important step forward today. The cryogenic core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket completed hot fire testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center as part of the SLS rocket’s Green Run test campaign on the B-2 test stand. The test, which included a full-duration, eight-minute engine burn, demonstrated successful core stage operation and will be used to help certify the stage for flight.

“I want to thank the extraordinary individuals who make up the NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing teams who designed, developed, produced and tested the all-new SLS core stage to enable sustainable human exploration of deep space,” said John Shannon, Boeing SLS vice president and program manager.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Stockholders Approve Proposed Acquisition by Lockheed Martin

Orion launch abort system test. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 9, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) today announced that, at a special meeting held on March 9, 2021, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s stockholders approved the merger agreement providing for the proposed acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne by Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT).

Approximately 99.76% of the shares whose holders were present in person or by proxy at the special meeting were voted in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, which represented approximately 78.78% of the total number of shares of Aerojet Rocketdyne common stock issued and outstanding as of the close of business on February 4, 2021, the record date for the special meeting.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, pending receipt of regulatory approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and satisfaction of other closing conditions specified in the merger agreement.

About Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., headquartered in El Segundo, California, is an innovative technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems, with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the Company’s excess real estate assets. More information can be obtained by visiting the Company’s websites at www.rocket.com or www.aerojetrocketdyne.com.

Raytheon to Challenge Lockheed Martin Acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, Extended Regulatory Review Likely

Raytheon said it will challenge Lockheed Martin’s planned acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne on anti-trust grounds amid reports that federal regulators will extend their review of the deal. Bloomberg reports:

“They are a huge supplier to us, and if that merger actually happens, you don’t have an independent supplier on the solid-rocket-motor side. And also, I think it gives us pause as we think about the competitive landscape going forward,” Raytheon Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said Wednesday at the Barclays Industrial Select virtual conference.

The proposed $4.4 billion deal would have a top competitor absorb a key supplier of solid rocket motors used in Raytheon’s missile systems. Hayes said the company would relay its concerns about the deal to the U.S. antitrust authorities and the Defense Department.

Lockheed announced the acquisition in December in an effort to expand expand its foray into missile defense and futuristic space travel, targeting higher sales and cost savings as defense budgets tighten.

Reuters reports that the Federal Trade Commission is likely to extend its 60-day review of the planned acquisition, which was due to expire at midnight on Thursday.

The $4.4 billion dollar deal, announced late last year, has raised eyebrows because Lockheed would take over a company that produces 70% of the solid fuel rocket motors and other propulsion products used in everything from antiballistic missiles, to air-to-air missiles.

Lockheed’s CEO, Jim Taiclet, said the deal could put Lockheed into a strong position in the growing propulsion and hypersonic weapons market.

Still, Taiclet has said Lockheed would simultaneously remain a partner to Aerojet’s current customer base by “providing outstanding propulsion products for the entire industry.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne Receives Contract for up to Two More MMRTGS for Future Deep Space Exploration Missions

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Perseverance Rover. Perseverance’s power source, a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne, is visible at the aft end of the rover. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 12, 2021 – Aerojet Rocketdyne recently received a contract award to deliver up to two Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (MMRTG) to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for use in future planetary science missions. MMRTGs are radioisotope power systems that have been used as reliable electrical power sources on multiple deep space missions, including NASA’s Perseverance Rover, which will land on Mars on Feb. 18.

(more…)

NASA Sets Week of Feb. 21 for Repeat of Green Run Test

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a scheduled eight minute duration hot fire test, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for a little more than one minute. The hot fire test is the final stage of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon. (Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — Media are invited to attend NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s  second Green Run hot fire – a test of the rocket’s core stage and all of its integrated systems before its flight on the Artemis I lunar mission. NASA is targeting the week of Feb. 21 for the test in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The date for the test will be set following the test readiness review.

(more…)

RS-25 Engine Test Series to Demonstration Lower-cost Rocket Engine Components for NASA’s Artemis Program

RS-25 hot fire test (Credits: NASA/Stennis Space Center)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Jan. 27, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA are gearing up for a new phase of RS-25 hot-fire testing that will validate new components for the engine, which powers the core stage of the agency’s Space Launch System super heavy-lift exploration rocket.

The Retrofit-2 test series, consisting of seven tests at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, is expected to begin Jan. 28 and run through June. Each hot-fire test will last up to 500 seconds on the A1 Test Stand.

(more…)

NASA Conducts 1st Hot Fire of New RS-25 Engine Test Series

RS-25 hot fire test (Credits: NASA/Stennis Space Center)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — NASA conducts the first hot fire Jan. 28 in a new series of tests for production of RS-25 engines that will help power the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on future deep space missions. The test of RS-25 developmental engine No. 0528 on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., marks the beginning of a seven-test series designed to provide valuable data to Aerojet Rocketdyne, lead contractor for SLS engines, as the company begins production of new RS-25 engines.

(more…)