The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company's AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine's long-term future.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s success in developing AR1, an engine designed to replace Russian-made RD-180 engines on United Launch Alliance rockets, hinges in part on its use of Mondaloy, a nickel-based superalloy invented in the 1990s by metallurgists Monica Jacinto.
ASRC of Beltsville, Md., has test fired a subscale propellant injector built via additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, paving the way for a version that will be able to support whichever engine United Launch Alliance chooses to replace the Russian-built RD-180 on the Atlas 5 rocket.
Research and development (R&D) costs for the AR1 rocket from the program’s inception through June 30 have reached about $228 million, according to recent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the engine's manufacturer.
An independent assessment of rocket engine development delivered to a House committee last week has concluded that Blue Origin remains well ahead of Aerojet Rocketdyne despite a recent testing setback.
Air Force leaders didn't definitively say if they'll cut off funding, but said they're more interested in launch services than engines.
The company completed a series of hot-fire tests on the preburner design for the AR1, keeping the program on schedule to be flight-ready by 2019.
Aerojet Rocketdyne announced a second phase of the company’s consolidation plan April 10 that includes moving development of rocket engines from a decades-old California facility.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Julie Van Kleeck pitched the AR1 rocket engine to a roomful of reporters Tuesday morning as the only direct replacement for the reliable but politically polarizing Russian engine that powers the Atlas 5 rocket.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said Dec. 17 that the AR1 engine it hopes to build for United Launch Alliance’s next-generation rocket has completed a key design review.
Development of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new engine could be delayed without sufficient government funding, company executives said here Sept. 15.