Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the assembly of the first AR1, a new rocket engine funded by the U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet said he expects the U.S. government to approve the company’s proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne despite concerns that it could reduce competition in the hypersonic weapons market.
Lockheed Martin announced Dec. 20 it has inked a deal to acquire rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion.
Despite sticker shock from some quarters, Aerojet Rocketdyne says a new contract for producing engines for NASA’s Space Launch System will result in cost reductions compared to the engines used on the space shuttle.
A study by a space propulsion company concludes that a human return to the moon by 2024 will require minimizing the launches needed for the lunar lander and also using storable, rather than cryogenic, propellants.
The facility will be able to manufacture motors up to 470 inches long and up to 100 inches in diameter.
A partnership between small launch vehicle company Firefly Aerospace and propulsion developer Aerojet Rocketdyne, highlighted by Firefly’s potential use of Aerojet’s AR1 engine, also has more immediate benefits for the companies.
Firefly Aerospace on Oct. 18 said it is collaborating with Aerojet Rocketdyne to increase the performance of its upcoming Alpha launch vehicle, and is considering Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 engine for a future launch vehicle.
The addition of Aerojet to Northrop’s team guarantees that the nation’s only two manufacturers of large solid rocket motors will be part of the GBSD program.
As aerospace companies enjoy increased Pentagon and NASA spending, at least one executive is mindful of potential changes should a new president be elected in 2020.
Blue Origin and SpaceX among winners of NASA technology agreements for lunar landers and launch vehicles
Blue Origin and SpaceX have secured multiple agreements with NASA intended to support the development of technologies for launch vehicles and lunar landers.
Boeing has informed the Air Force that it will not bid Ground Based Strategic Deterrent engineering and manufacturing development.
Startups in the burgeoning small launch vehicle market acknowledge that only a handful of vehicles will survive a likely shakeout, driven more by commercial rather than government demand.
Aerojet Rocketdyne says it’s committed to completing development of the AR1 rocket engine and is seeking potential partners for a new medium-class launch vehicle that could use the engine.