Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced that its AJ10 engine successfully powered the second stage of today's United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II launch carrying the National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) for NASA.
Aerojet's AJ10 has provided second-stage propulsion on 151 Delta II flights to date with a 100 percent success rate. The engine has helped deliver payloads for NASA's space exploration efforts such as Phoenix Mars Lander, Mars Polar Lander, Deep Impact, Kepler, NEAR Shoemaker and the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as well as the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Block IIR fleet.
"As a propulsion provider on every Delta II launch, Aerojet has been trusted to deliver historic payloads that have expanded scientific knowledge and enhanced our nation's space-based capabilities," said Vice President of Space and Launch Systems Julie Van Kleeck. "Throughout these missions, the AJ10 engine and our team supporting it has achieved an unrivaled legacy of performance."
Under contract to ULA, Aerojet's AJ10 hypergolic engine provided 10,000 lbs of thrust during today's launch and assisted with delivery of NPP to low-Earth orbit. The mission is carrying a mini-bus sized satellite that will fly a polar-orbit and monitor a broad range of land, ocean and atmospheric phenomenon.
There are still five remaining AJ10-118K upper-stage engines at Aerojet's Sacramento facility available to support potential future Delta II missions.
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