HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – NASA has selected Aerojet-General Corp. of Redmond, Wash., to provide developmental engines for the Ares I crew launch vehicle first stage roll control system.

These engines are the first in a series of steps to develop the roll control system to manage the amount of rotation by the first stage solid rocket from liftoff to its separation from the second stage, ensuring that Ares I stays on the designated trajectory for the first two minutes of flight. The engines being developed by Aerojet under this contract will be used to mature the roll control system that will be used on the Ares I tests program.

The Ares I crew launch vehicle will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle, its crew or other small cargo payloads to low-Earth orbit. The first stage will consist of a single solid rocket booster similar to those used on the space shuttle, but with a fifth motor segment added. An upper stage consisting of a J-2X liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine and the associated propellant tanks and fuel distribution systems will complete the trip to orbit.

The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract – a competitive award – has an 11-month period of performance with a potential total value of $8.1 million, if the additional 11- month contract option for engine fabrication and testing is exercised.

The Ares I project is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. for NASA’s Constellation Program.

For information about NASA’s Constellation Program, visit: