SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has supported the successful launch of the sixth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF military navigation satellite into orbit today. The GPS IIF-6 satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV medium rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion included an RS-68 booster engine, an RL10B-2 upper stage engine and multiple spacecraft attitude control thrusters.
"Aerojet Rocketdyne is proud to support the sustainment of the GPS satellite constellation with our ULA and U.S. Air Force customers," said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "This successful launch demonstrates the reliability of our propulsion systems, coupled with the seamless integration of all our resources to provide vital capabilities for our military and benefits to our daily lives."
During launch, the Delta IV rocket was boosted off the pad by the RS-68 engine, with 758,000 pounds of vacuum thrust and 663,000 pounds of sea-level thrust. Once in space, the ULA Centaur upper stage, powered by a single RL10B-2 engine, ignited multiple times to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur thrusters and other Aerojet Rocketdyne-provided hardware for both the booster and upper stage. The RL10B-2 engine delivers 24,750 pounds of thrust to power the Delta IV upper-stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during its operation. ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages on the launch vehicle.
Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters in four modules on the Delta IV upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control as well as settling burns for the upper stage main engine.
The GPS satellite, built by The Boeing Company in El Segundo, Calif., includes a pair of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems which will be used periodically to restore the satellites to their designated orbits and to eventually decommission them.
The IIFs are designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. They feature more capability and improved mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal that has better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' websites at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.