Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that its engines will be providing the main propulsion for Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) as it maneuvers for a scheduled docking with the International Space Station (ISS) on March 28.
Working with the ATV prime contractor Astrium, an EADS company, Aerojet provides four R 4D-11 110 lbf class liquid bipropellant engines for ATV maneuvering as the spacecraft approaches the ISS. The vehicle’s flight profile includes several burns for each orbit change, main propulsion and braking for the docking approach.
“Originally developed to provide reaction control for the Apollo missions to the moon, Aerojet’s R-4D rocket engines have been an integral part of human spaceflight for more than 50 years,” said Steve Harper, manager of the Bipropellant Propulsion product line at Aerojet. “No R-4D has ever failed in flight during five decades of service, with numerous missions, including the daring recovery of Apollo 13. We look forward to continuing this engine’s legacy of reliability with its use on the ATV, the Orion service module and other ambitious space missions.”
The ATV is Europe’s ISS re-supply vehicle and delivers propellant, air, food and spare parts. The supplies on this particular mission also will include care packages for all six ISS crew members. This vehicle is Europe’s third ATV and has been named Edoardo Amaldi in recognition of the Italian physicist who pioneered the search for gravitational waves. The vehicle was launched March 23, 2012 aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.
Date: Mar 28, 2012