Aerojet Engines on ATV Give Space Station a Big Boost

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 11, 2011 – Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that the European Space Agency’s ATV-2 (Johannes Kepler) successfully completed a major series of reboost maneuvers on the International Space Station (ISS) using four Aerojet model R-4D-11 110-pound bipropellant rocket engine.

The series consisted of four burns of more than 140 minutes in total duration between June 12 and June 17, consuming a total of approximately 2800 kg of propellant. The series of reboosts raised the ISS orbit from approximately 345 km to more than 380 km – the single biggest increase in altitude for the station to date. By placing the ISS in this higher orbit, it will require much less fuel to maintain its orbit – nearly a 50 percent reduction over the next several years.

“Aerojet’s propulsion support to EADS Astrium and ESA in the ATV program is a great example of the international collaboration and spirit of the ISS,” said Steve Harper, manager of Bipropellant Propulsion Programs at Aerojet. “This ATV reboost of the ISS into a higher orbit is critical to maintaining its viability after the space shuttle retires.”

Aerojet's model R-4D bipropellant main engines are a derivative of the Reaction Control System thrusters flown on the Apollo lunar and service module. They are used for achieving orbit on many geosynchronous satellites and also will be used on the next-generation Orion Service Module. None of the hundreds of R-4D engines have ever failed in flight throughout five decades of service to the space industry. The four model R-4D engines were delivered to the prime contractor, EADS Astrium in Bremen, Germany for use on the Johannes Kepler ATV.

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’ websites at and