VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., April 26, 2021 – Engines supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the lifting power for today’s successful launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a classified U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) NROL-82 payload.
“When it comes to launching high-value national security payloads, America puts its trust in our propulsion systems,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Our reliable, flight-proven RS-68 and RL10 engines have supported ULA’s Delta IV Heavy missions since the rocket’s first flight in 2004 and have continued with 100% mission success for nearly two decades.”
The Delta IV Heavy features three core stages in a side-by-side configuration, each powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A engine generating 705,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff. The RS-68A, developed specifically for the Delta IV, is the world’s most powerful hydrogen-fueled engine.
The vehicle’s second stage is powered by a single RL10B-2 hydrogen-fueled engine generating 24,750 pounds of thrust. Variants of the RL10 have been flying since the 1960s on various rockets, with well over 500 having flown to date.
The Delta IV Heavy’s propulsion systems also feature pressurant tanks built by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s ARDÉ subsidiary.
About Aerojet Rocketdyne:
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.