Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced that its second-stage liquid engine for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket helped boost the final Air Force GPS satellite — GPS IIR-21(M) — to orbit for the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System. This 48th Delta II launch of a GPS satellite roared into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida early Aug. 17. The GPS IIR-21(M) satellite is a modernized navigation satellite used to aid military and civilian users worldwide. Aerojet also provides 16 thrusters for the GPS satellite's in-space maneuvering.
Aerojet's second-stage engine has supported past launches of Global Positioning System satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, as well as the Phoenix Mars Lander, the recent NASA Kepler mission, THEMIS, MESSENGER, and the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecraft, to name a few. Aerojet thrusters have also flown on every GPS mission to date ensuring that the United States provides GPS navigation capability to both military and commercial users. "This final GPS satellite to be launched on the Delta II vehicle highlights the importance this system has been to our nation," said Aerojet's Director of Delta II and Space Tank Production Programs, Rich Yanick. "Aerojet is proud to have played a significant role in its success."