SACRAMENTO, Ca: Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced its key role in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket tonight from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the second Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft, formerly known as the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite. Aerojet provided two solid rocket boosters for the launch vehicle, eight retro rockets for the Atlas Centaur separation from the launch vehicle, reaction control thrusters for the Centaur stage, as well as bipropellant chemical propulsion for the satellite.
Aerojet’s solid rocket boosters (SRB) are 67-feet long and provide an average of 250,000 pounds of thrust. Aerojet SRBs have flown in previous vehicle configurations using one, two, three and five boosters. This is the ninth successful Atlas V flight with SRBs.
Eight Aerojet retro rockets assisted with the Atlas Centaur separation from the launch vehicle. In addition, 12 Aerojet monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters on the Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control as well as settling burns for the upper stage main engine. Aerojet also provided the Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft with a 100 lbf bipropellant apogee engine.
“Aerojet is proud to provide key propulsion elements for this very important U.S. mission,” said Aerojet’s Vice President of Space Systems, Julie Van Kleeck. “By successfully lifting the Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft and maneuvering it to orbit, Aerojet has played a significant role in increasing the communications capabilities of U.S. and allied nation’s military forces deployed around the globe.”
Aerojet is under contract with the United Launch Alliance for the SRBs, reaction control thrusters and retro rockets. Aerojet developed, produced and tested the SRBs in California, using technology derived from its extensive experience producing solid rocket motors for Peacekeeper and Small ICBM missile systems. Aerojet’s Redmond, Wash. team manufactured the reaction control thrusters for ULA, and the apogee engine was designed, produced and tested under contract to The Boeing Company. The retro rockets were designed and developed by Aerojet in Gainesville, Va. and manufactured in Camden, Ark.
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading 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. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.