A new intermediate- to large-class launch vehicle
Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is currently developing its OmegA family of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles capable of launching national security, science and commercial payloads. OmegA is a robust, all-American launch system with a design based on flight-proven technologies and common components.
Liftoff thrust can be augmented by adding up to six strap-on boosters to meet varying mission requirements. The launch vehicle’s liquid-fueled third stage features a five-meter payload fairing.
Initial flights of OmegA’s intermediate configuration will begin in 2021, which will lead to certification of the vehicle for U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle missions later that year. The initial heavy configuration certification flights are slated to begin in 2024.
Third Stage Engine: OmegA’s cryogenic third stage will be powered by two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-5-1 engines that were derived from the RL10C-1 engine that made its inaugural flight in December 2014. Together the engines will produce more than 40,000 lbs of thrust.
This new variant of the RL10 for Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems will feature an injector assembly that is built using additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing. Additive manufacturing allows Aerojet Rocketdyne to provide the reliability and performance customers have come to expect, while making the engine more affordable to meet the demands of today’s marketplace.
With nearly 500 engines flown in space, the RL10 has helped place hundreds of satellites into orbit, sent spacecraft to explore every planet in our solar system and propelled the first human-made object, the Voyager I spacecraft, into interstellar space.