Press Release

Aerojet’s Engine Powers Delta II Second Stage for Aquarius Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
June 10, 2011
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Aerojet’s Engine Powers Delta II Second Stage for Aquarius Mission

Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, announced that its engine helped propel today’s launch of the Delta II launch vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. This 149th launch of the Delta II engine carries NASA’s Aquarius research satellite to orbit.

Aquarius is a focused effort to measure the sea surface salinity of the world’s oceans. The satellite will provide the global view of salinity variability needed for climate studies. The mission is being developed by NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina (Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales) in order to evaluate changes in the water cycle and ocean circulation and their influence on present and future climates.

Under contract to United Launch Alliance, Aerojet provides the Delta II rocket’s liquid second stage engine (AJ10). This same engine has supported numerous launches of critical NASA and other government agency missions. Aerojet’s second stage engine has delivered payloads for NASA’s space exploration such as MESSENGER, Phoenix Mars Lander, GLAST, THEMIS, STEREO, Deep Impact and the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as well as the USAF Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIR fleet.

“The AJ10 engine has been a shining example of Aerojet’s commitment to 100 percent mission success for the Delta II rocket since its first launch in 1989,” said Executive Director of Space and Launch Vehicle Motors and Liquid Propulsion Products, Pete Cova. “We are proud of its strong heritage and critical mission support that it has provided through the years.”

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’ websites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.