SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has received a contract from Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) to deliver XR-5 electric propulsion subsystems over the next three years for the next generation GEOStar-3 commercial geostationary orbit communications satellite platform. Orbital's GEOStar satellites are used to provide a variety of communications services including direct-to-home TV broadcasting, broadband connectivity, cable program distribution, business data network capacity, regional mobile communications and similar services.
Each Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 subsystem for a GEOStar-3 spacecraft consists of 5-kilowatt class Hall thrusters with integral flow regulation valves, Power Processing Units with built-in Thruster Selection Units and all associated electrical harnessing. The XR-5 Hall system is the highest power Hall thruster system ever flown, and each XR-5 Hall thruster incorporates Aerojet Rocketdyne's patented zero-erosion design, which enables the extremely long-life capability required to raise the satellite from where it is placed into orbit by the launch vehicle to its final destination in geostationary orbit.
Twelve XR-5 Hall thrusters have been flown on government GEO comsat satellites, and 12 more are in production. The GEOStar-3 contract expands the XR-5 product line into the commercial GEO comsat market, which will increase production volume and lower costs for the product line.
"High-power Hall systems provide the optimal solution for electric orbit raising and station-keeping for the next generation of commercial GEO comsats," said Warren Yasuhara, vice president of Space Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "The XR-5 Hall system is the only flight-proven, high-power Hall system, and the only Hall system qualified for the long-duration life needed for electric orbit-raising missions."
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.