May 18, 2020-
Aerojet Rocketdyne supported the successful launch of the USSF-7 mission for the recently formed U.S. Space Force today. The mission carried the military’s X-37B space plane into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.
Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion products supporting the launch included an RL10C-1 upper-stage engine, helium pressurization tanks on the rocket and a dozen MR-106 thrusters on the Centaur upper stage that provided roll, pitch and yaw control, as well as settling burns. This launch will carry the 1,000th MR-106 thruster to fly on an Atlas V launch vehicle.
“This launch marks the second successful launch for the United States Space Force since the new branch of our military was officially established last year,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CEO and president. “We look forward to supporting many more launches in the coming years for this new organization, which has the critical task of protecting U.S. and allied interests in space.”
After the Atlas V lifted off the pad and the upper stage separated from the first stage booster, a single RL10C-1 engine ignited to place the payload into orbit. The RL10C-1 engine 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, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages on the launch vehicle.
Source : Aerojet Rocketdyne