Press Release

Aerojet Rocketdyne Supports ULA Launch of Navigation Satellite for U.S. Military

By SpaceRef Editor
October 31, 2015
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Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), helped successfully propel another in a series of Global Positioning Systems (GPS IIF) military navigation satellites into orbit today. The latest mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion included 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 the U.S. Air Force, United Launch Alliance and everyone at Aerojet Rocketdyne who contributed to the successful launch of this important satellite,” said Ron Felix, vice president and general manager of Space Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “It’s an honor to know our propulsion is playing a role in navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea and in the air.”

The GPS satellite, built by the Boeing Company in El Segundo, California, includes a pair of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems provided by the Space Systems Business Unit in Redmond, Washington. These systems are used periodically to keep the satellites in their designated orbits and to eventually decommission them.

The IIF satellites are designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. They feature more capability and improved mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal that has better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s in-space propulsion systems have provided 100 percent mission success on all GPS missions over their lifetime.

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 RL10C-1 is provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. The dozen MR-106-series 5-9 lbf Centaur upper-stage hydrazine thrusters are provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington. ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages on 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

port of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.