SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 6, 2013 – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, continued its role as a major propulsion supplier to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program by successfully placing a classified payload into orbit for the U.S. government. The mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, with an RL10A-4-2 upper-stage engine, helium pressurization tanks, and a dozen Centaur upper-stage thrusters used for roll, pitch, yaw and settling burns.
"Congratulations to ULA, the U.S. government, and all the mission partners involved in this critical national security launch," said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "We are proud to have supported this mission and helped deliver critical capabilities to the men and women defending our freedom across the world."
Aerojet Rocketdyne's role in the launch primarily revolved around the second stage operation when a single RL10A-4-2 engine ignited to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur thrusters and other Aerojet Rocketdyne-provided hardware for both the booster and upperstage. The workhorse 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 for the upper stage.
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 providing innovative solutions to its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy 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.