Press Release

Aerojet Propulsion Launches Delta II for Ocean Surface Topography Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2008
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Aerojet Propulsion Launches Delta II for Ocean Surface Topography Mission

Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, announced that its engine helped propel the Delta II that launched the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) /JASON-2 satellite into orbit today from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission, an international collaboration between NASA, NOAA, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), will use the Jason-2 satellite’s scientific instruments to gather critical measurements leading to more accurate weather forecasting and climate monitoring capabilities.

Aerojet, under contract to United Launch Alliance, provided the Delta II rocket’s second stage engine. This was Aerojet’s 265th successful Delta launch since 1960. Aerojet’s second stage liquid rocket engine’s flawless record owes its longevity to its robust design. “It was exciting to be part of another successful Delta II flight,” says Rich Yanick, director of Delta II and Space Tank Production Programs. “The complexity of making this happen correctly each time is an amazing achievement.”

This same engine has also supported NASA’s launches of such missions as Phoenix Mars Lander, Dawn, GLAST, THEMIS, STEREO, Deep Impact, MESSENGER and the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecraft, which delivered Rovers Spirit and Opportunity to the surface of Mars. This particular engine’s launch history began in 1958 when Aerojet provided second stage propulsion for the Vanguard-1 mission. Over the years, the engine’s performance has been improved so that today it has the power needed to assist in critical missions such as today’s OSTM spacecraft launch.

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company’s excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.