Press Release

Aerojet Rocketdyne Supported United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V Mission for National Reconnaissance Office

By SpaceRef Editor
October 8, 2015
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Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD) played a significant role in successfully launching a national security payload into orbit for the U.S. government. The mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, with an RL10C-1 upper-stage engine, six helium pressurization tanks and a dozen Centaur upper-stage thrusters used for roll, pitch, yaw and settling burns.

“Congratulations to ULA, the U.S. government, and all the mission partners involved in the placement of this critical payload into orbit,” said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Aerojet Rocketdyne is proud to have supported this mission and help deliver critical capabilities to those defending our freedom.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s primary contribution to the launch began after separation of the first stage, when a single RL10C-1 engine ignited to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur thrusters and pressurization tanks. The RL10C-1 engine delivers 22,890 pounds of thrust to power the Atlas V upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during its operation. The dozen MR-106-series 5-9 lbf Centaur upper-stage hydrazine thrusters are provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington. ARDE, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages of the launch vehicle.

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 and

SpaceRef staff editor.