Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Completes Qualification Tests on Reusable Engine to Support Next Era of Human Spaceflight from the United States
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), has successfully completed hot-fire qualification tests of an engine that demonstrates the ability to meet reusability requirements for Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner crew module propulsion system. The tests were conducted on Aerojet Rocketdyne's MR-104J hydrazine monopropellant engine in Redmond, Washington. For NASA service missions to the International Space Station, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft will carry up to four astronauts and time-critical scientific research.
'Our engineers have incorporated a unique design that will allow the MR-104 engine to be used on multiple missions, providing the reliability, cost-efficiency and reusability our customer needs to be competitive in the current commercial space environment,' said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. 'We look forward to delivering the engines for the crew module and continuing our proud heritage of enabling astronauts to fly to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.'
The Starliner crew module propulsion system will use 12 MR-104J engines for reaction control to orient the vehicle during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Prior to re-entry, attitude control is provided by the Service Module Engines, also provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The MR-104J, designed by Aerojet Rocketdyne, was developed and tested under the company's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) subcontract to Boeing. Similar to other reaction control system engines, the MR-104J includes additional features to increase redundancy that meet critical requirements and improved strength to withstand multiple shocks at operating temperatures. The engine upgrades also provide reusability for Boeing as it certifies Starliner crew modules for multiple missions.
Under the CCtCap subcontract to Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne will provide propulsion system hardware that includes Crew Module Reaction Control engines; Launch Abort Engines, Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control thrusters, and Service Module Reaction Control System thrusters. Boeing will assemble propulsion hardware into the Starliner spacecraft at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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.