BELFAST, Northern Ireland, June 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- European Space Propulsion (ESP), an Aerojet Rocketdyne company, has delivered the first set of satellite thrusters to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., in support of a joint mission between Taiwan and the United States to observe and monitor the global climate, atmosphere and ionosphere for enhanced weather forecasting.

This hardware reflects the first award for ESP and includes delivery of MR-103G thrusters for six spacecraft and an option for hardware for an additional six spacecraft for the FORMOSAT‑7/COSMIC-2 program. The ESP Data Review Board that supported the engine delivery was completed in Belfast in April. The joint program is designed to establish an operational constellation of 12 highly reliable satellites to replace the existing FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC mission. The first phase is to deploy six satellites to orbit in 2016, and the second phase is scheduled to be deployed in 2018.

"The MR-103G thruster, a 1N hydrazine monopropellant thruster, has a long flight heritage for use on a variety of space programs," said Paul Sinton, ESP managing director. "These types of thrusters are still operational today on the Voyager spacecraft after nearly 36 years in space. At ESP, we are leveraging this proven technology to serve Europe's vision for spaceflight."

"ESP is at an advanced stage of establishing a comprehensive in-space propulsion capability, and this delivery represents an important step in the evolution of this development plan," said Sinton. "Ultimately, ESP plans to have the full capability to manufacture a complete range of chemical and electric propulsion equipment, including thrusters and systems. There are also plans to establish a space propulsion test facility that can support tests in a space representative environment. The combined scope of these activities will continue to establish ESP as a key player in the European space propulsion market."

About European Space Propulsion

European Space Propulsion (ESP), located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, is a new entrant to the European space propulsion market. ESP provides Aerojet Rocketdyne heritage products and services for in-space propulsion through its relationship with European manufacturing and test organization, Thales UK, also based in Belfast. Additional information about ESP can be obtained by visiting the company's website at

About Aerojet Rocketdyne

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 and

Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941