SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, helped successfully propel another, in a series of Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF military navigation satellites, into orbit today - the fourth launch in 30 days. The latest mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne launch vehicle propulsion included an RL10A-4-2 upper-stage engine, a dozen attitude control thrusters and six helium pressurization tanks.
The GPS satellite, built by The Boeing Company in El Segundo, California, 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.
"Today's successful launch once again demonstrates the reliability and consistency of our propulsion systems, and our customers' confidence in our ability," said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "It truly demonstrates the team's focus on mission success."
The missions that Aerojet Rocketdyne helped propel into orbit in the past 30 days include the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, which launched July 2 onboard a ULA Delta II rocket; the Cygnus spacecraft onboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket on July 13; two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites and an Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space satellite onboard a ULA Delta IV rocket; and today's placement of the GPS IIF satellite onboard a ULA Atlas V rocket.
After the Atlas V lifted off the pad and the Centaur upper stage separated from the launch vehicle, a single RL10A-2 engine ignited 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 ever-reliable RL10A-4-2 engine delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust to power the Atlas V 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 Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control as well as settling burns.
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.