Press Release

Aerojet’s Engine Powers Delta II Second Stage for the COSMO-SkyMed Constellation

By SpaceRef Editor
November 9, 2010
Filed under , ,

Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced that its engine helped propel Friday night’s launch of the Delta II launch vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in Calif. This is the fourth launch, completing the COSMO-SkyMed constellation.

The overall objective of the COSMO-SkyMed program is global Earth observation, particularly in the Mediterranean area. Some applications of this constellation include analyzing effects of natural disasters; coastal surveillance to assess erosion and sea/river pollution, monitoring of farming, mapping forestry resources and urban buildings; and territorial security and strategic defense. The first three COSMO-SkyMed satellites were launched from Vandenberg in June 2007, Dec. 2007 and Oct. 2008, respectively.

The Delta II launch vehicle will deliver COSMO-4 into the same orbit as COSMO-1, COSMO-2 and COSMO-3, where it will begin its dual-use mission of data observation and data recording for the needs of both the military and civilian communities.

Under contract to the United Launch Alliance, Aerojet provides the Delta II rocket’s liquid second stage engine. This same engine has supported numerous launches of critical NASA and Air Force 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.
“It’s rewarding to be part of the team that is delivering this Earth observation program for the Italian Space Agency,” said Delta II Program Manager Eric Veith.

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’ Web sites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.