Powering the future of in-space transportation
Aerojet Rocketdyne is the world leader in the development, qualification, and flight of electric propulsion (EP) systems and components. We have delivered more than 500 EP flights systems starting in the 1980s and specialize in various EP technologies.
Since 1983 Aerojet Rocketdyne has developed three types of electric propulsion technology: electrothermal, electrostatic and electromagnetic.
- Electric Propulsion systems use electricity to accelerate a propellant to produce thrust. This means less propellant is needed to power EP systems than chemical thrusters, resulting in:
- Lower launch masses which equates to lower launch cost
- Extended satellite life times with the same propellant fraction
- Additional payload if traded against propellant mass
- EP systems have demonstrated the ability to reduce the mission cost for NASA human exploration cargo missions by more than 50 percent.
- EP systems can provide small amounts of thrust for long periods of time, substantially extending the operational timeframe of missions.
- EP systems can provide high speeds over long periods via continuous acceleration, making it an ideal capability for deep space missions.
Notable Electric Propulsion Missions
- Advanced EHF Space Vehicles 1 through 6
- Multiple Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems GEOStar-3 spacecraft missions
- All Lockheed Martin Space Systems LM2100 spacecraft missions
- Multiple Boeing Defense, Space and Security 702MP spacecraft missions
- Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART)
- May 19, 2020 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Delivers DART Spacecraft Propulsion Systems Ahead of 2021 Asteroid Impact Mission
- Feb. 5, 2020 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion to Play Critical Role in Planetary Defense Asteroid Mission
- Nov. 08, 2019 - Advanced Electric Propulsion Thruster for NASA’s Gateway Achieves Full Power Demonstration
- Aug. 08, 2019 - U.S. Air Force Communications Satellite Relies on Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Throughout Its Service Life
- Oct. 18, 2018 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers the Fourth U.S. Air Force Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Mission
- Aug. 29, 2018 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes NextSTEP Appendix C Study
- Aug. 28, 2018 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Demonstrates Advanced Electric Propulsion Capabilities for Future Space Exploration
- Aug. 22, 2018 - GEOStar-3 Mission Success Enabled by Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 Hall Thruster System
- Aug. 10, 2018 - NEXT-C Advanced Electric Propulsion Engine Cleared to Begin Production
- March 1, 2018 - GOES-S Launch Marks Flight of 100th Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60A Solid Rocket Booster
- Feb. 13, 2017 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Receives NASA Glenn Research Center's Large Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
- April 28, 2016 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Signs Contract to Develop Advanced Electric Propulsion System for NASA
- Feb. 15, 2016 - Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded Contract to Mature Development of a High-Powered Nested Hall Thruster System
- July 1, 2015 - Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Modified XR-5 Hall Thruster Demonstrates Successful On-Orbit Operation