Press Release

Aerojet Wins NASA Contract for Electric Propulsion Demonstrator

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2005
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Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY – News) company, has received a two-phase contract from NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to design, build, test and deliver a sub-scale electric propulsion direct drive system. The direct drive system will validate the technology for future full-scale use on Moon and Mars cargo transport vehicles. The two-phase, $12.3 million contract (including all options) was awarded by NASA’s Glenn Research Center.

Aerojet’s direct drive system will deliver high-voltage power directly from space vehicle solar panels, to electric propulsion Hall thrusters. This will eliminate costly and heavy primary power converters and reduce solar panel size. Aerojet projects a mass savings on full-scale Moon or Mars solar electric propulsion cargo vehicles in excess of 1,000 kg (or the equivalent of 2,205 lbs.), resulting in reduced propellant needs for launching the vehicles from Earth.

“This direct drive system, which will provide NASA with new propulsion technology, again demonstrates Aerojet’s role in supporting the agency’s needs for creating affordable, sustainable access to the moon and Mars,” said Aerojet President Mike Martin.

The two-phase program will culminate with a ground system demonstration test at Glenn that will include illuminating solar panels in a vacuum test chamber used to drive a Hall thruster firing. At the conclusion of the program, the hardware will be delivered to NASA for integration into a flight experiment mission to validate the technology in space.

Aerojet’s teammates on the contract include Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Vacco, NASA Glenn Research Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

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

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current management expectations. Numerous factors, including those related to market conditions and those detailed from time to time in GenCorp’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, may cause results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will determine GenCorp’s future results are beyond the ability of GenCorp to control or predict. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and, therefore, actual results may differ materially. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s views only as of the date hereof. GenCorp undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SpaceRef staff editor.