[SatNews] Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, helped to successfully propel another in a series of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) IIF military navigation satellites into orbit.
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 RL10A-4-2 upper-stage engine, a dozen attitude control thrusters and six helium pressurization tanks.
The GPS satellite, built by The Boeing Company in El Segundo, California, includes a pair of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems which will be used periodically to restore the satellites to their designated orbits and to eventually decommission them.
Aerojet Rocketdyne's primary role began after the Atlas V lifted off the pad and the Centaur upper stage separated from the launch vehicle. At that time, a single RL10A-4-2 engine ignited to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur thrusters and other Aerojet Rocketdyne-provided hardware for the booster and upper stage. The RL10A-4-2 engine delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust to power the Atlas V upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during its operation. ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages on the launch vehicle. Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters in four modules on the Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control as well as settling burns.
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