Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, announced that its Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) helped power today's launch of United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a military payload.
Launching in its 531 configuration, the Atlas V vehicle relied on the power of three Aerojet SRBs. Each SRB measures 67-feet long and provides an average of 250,000 pounds of thrust. Aerojet SRBs have flown in previous vehicle configurations using one, two, three and five boosters. This is the 16th successful Atlas V flight with Aerojet SRBs.
"Aerojet's commitment to mission success is a testament to our 70-year propulsion legacy," said Executive Director of Space & Launch Systems, Pete Cova. "We are proud to be part of the Atlas V team and the critical support we provide directly to the Warfighter and national defense."
Eight Aerojet retro rockets also assisted with the Atlas Centaur separation from the launch vehicle. In addition, 12 Aerojet monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters on the Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control, as well as settling burns for the upper stage main engine. All Atlas launches since the late 1980s have included Aerojet monopropellant reaction control thrusters on the Centaur upper stage.
Aerojet is under contract with ULA for the SRBs, reaction control thrusters and retro rockets for the Atlas V program. The company developed, produced and tested the SRBs in California, using technology derived from its extensive experience producing solid rocket motors for Peacekeeper and Small ICBM missile systems. Aerojet's Redmond, Wash. team manufactured the Centaur upper stage reaction control thrusters for ULA. The retro rockets were designed and developed by Aerojet in Gainesville, Va. and manufactured in Camden, Ark.
Date: May 6, 2012