Press Release

Aerojet Propulsion Launches NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2007
Filed under , ,

Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, provided propulsion for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission which launched on Aug. 4 at 5:26 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A, Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander is the first launch in NASA’s “Scout Program” — missions that are designed to be lower cost complements to larger missions being planned for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Aerojet’s eight cruise engines will guide the spacecraft to Mars, and the 12 lander engines will provide an actively guided descent onto the northern plains of Mars.

For this historic mission, Aerojet also provided the Delta II rocket’s second stage engine and the third stage spin motors. This was Aerojet’s 257th successful Delta II launch since 1960. Aerojet’s second stage liquid rocket engine has an unblemished success record and owes its longevity to its robust design and the use of proven components that have evolved over the engine’s lifetime. Aerojet also has provided propulsion for every Mars mission dating back to Viking and Viking 2 which arrived at Mars in 1976, as well as in-space propulsion for many other NASA missions including: THEMIS, STEREO, Cassini, Pluto/New Horizons, Deep Impact, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mercury MESSENGER, and the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecrafts, more commonly known as the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Aerojet provided the landing propulsion for Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) and both Viking landers.

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile, space propulsion 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.