SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) helped successfully propel another in the series of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) IIF military navigation satellites into orbit today. The latest mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion included an RL10C-1 upper-stage engine, six helium pressurization tanks and a dozen Centaur upper-stage thrusters for roll, pitch, yaw and settling burns.
The GPS satellite, built by the Boeing Company in El Segundo, California, includes a pair of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems provided by the Space Systems Business Unit in Redmond, Washington. These systems are used periodically to keep the satellites in their designated orbits and to eventually decommission them.
"Aerojet Rocketdyne is honored to provide the propulsion that enables critical GPS satellites to keep our troops and allied forces safe, as well as provide important navigation for commercial and civilian users around the world," said Aerojet Rocketdyne Chief Executive Officer and President Eileen Drake. "Congratulations to all Aerojet Rocketdyne employees whose hard work and dedication on our in-space propulsion systems have enabled 100 percent mission success on all the GPS missions."
Aerojet Rocketdyne's primary role began after the Atlas V lifted off the pad and the Centaur upper stage separated from the launch vehicle. At that time, a single RL10C-1 engine ignited to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur thruster and other Aerojet Rocketdyne-provided hardware for both the booster and upper stage. The RL10C-1 engine, manufactured at Aerojet Rocketdyne's West Palm Beach, Florida facility, delivers 22,890 pounds of thrust to power the upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during its operation. ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, provided the pressure vessels on the first and second stages of the launch vehicle. The Aerojet Rocketdyne facility in Redmond, Washington provided the small Centaur upper stage thrusters.
The IIF satellites are designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. They feature more capability and improved mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal that has better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas. Aerojet Rocketdyne in-space propulsion systems have provided 100 percent mission success on all GPS missions over their lifetime.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.