50th Anniversary and Final California Launch Site
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 19, 2005 – The Titan rocket, for 50 years a workhorse space lifter, made its final flight from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. today with Aerojet first- and second-stage liquid rocket engines powering the massive vehicle’s liquid propellant core. Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY) company, has produced liquid rocket engines for the entire Titan launcher family: Titan I, Titan II, Titan III and Titan IV, with work spanning the entire 50 years of the Titan program.
Aerojet was awarded its first contract for the Titan program in 1955. The first Titan was a two-stage missile, and Aerojet was awarded a $55 million contract for the development of liquid engines for the missile. At the time of the contract award, the company had just started construction of a large-thrust liquid test stand at its new Rancho Cordova, Calif. site. Within 10 months of the contract award, the company had 889 employees working on the liquid rocket program and a construction frenzy was underway.
The Titan program has made many notable contributions to Aerojet and to our country:
- The Titan liquid rocket engines enhanced Aerojet’s role as a leading propulsion company in the strategic defense and aerospace industries
- The Titan I and II liquid rocket engines powered the nation’s ICBMs for more than 30 years, helping to bring an end to the Cold War
- Titan II/Gemini, Aerojet’s first engines for manned spaceflight, formalized the “mission success” concept requiring the highest standards for quality assurance and reliability
- Titan III and Titan IV lifted NASA’s most significant planetary exploration spacecraft, including the Mars Viking Landers, Voyager I and II and the Cassini Saturn orbiter
- More than 28 Aerojet Titan program employees became the top executive at Aerojet and other U.S. companies
For more than 40 of its 50 years, Titan IIs, IIIs and IVs have been entrusted to carry the nation’s most critical military and national security satellites
- Aerojet produced 1,182 Titan engines; conducted 11,582 engine tests and 368 flights
Today’s successful launch marked the final milestone for Aerojet’s Titan program work.
A group of Aerojet Titan program employees traveled to Vandenberg to observe the launch and celebrate 50 years of mission success.
“What began as a development project for Aerojet ran for 50 years as a production program with 100 percent mission success in space launch applications,” said Aerojet President Michael Martin. “We are incredibly proud today, along with our partners Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force, to celebrate a program of American ingenuity and perseverance.”
Aerojet’s legacy as a leading U.S. propulsion provider continues as the company supports the Delta II launch vehicle with second-stage liquid rocket engines; Atlas® V with solid boosters; solid and liquid propulsion for a myriad of tactical and defense programs, and through the manufacture of small liquid thrusters for in-space utilization on civil, military and commercial satellites.
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.