SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that along with NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) (Orbital), the team conducted a successful ground test firing of an AJ26-62 flight engine that will power Orbital's Taurus® II medium-class space launch vehicle. The test was conducted at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
"The successful test is a testament to our strong belief in collaboration and commitment," said Executive Director of Space and Launch Systems, Pete Cova. "Successful engine testing, integration and deliveries are evidence of the strong partnerships that Aerojet has with Orbital, along with NASA's Stennis Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE)."
Aerojet's AJ26 engine is an oxidizer-rich, staged-combustion LO2/kerosene engine that achieves very high performance in a lightweight compact package. Based on the NK-33 engine, originally designed and produced in Russia for the Russian N1 lunar launch vehicle, the liquid-fuel AJ26 will provide boost for the first stage of the Taurus II launch vehicle.About Taurus II: The Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle is being developed to boost payloads into a variety of low-Earth and geosynchronous transfer orbits and to Earth escape trajectories. Taurus II incorporates proven technologies from Orbital's Pegasus®, Taurus and Minotaur rockets, and is supported by a "best-in-class" network of suppliers from the U.S. and around the world. The Taurus II rocket will also be available to civil government and U.S. military customers for dedicated launch services for medium-class scientific and national security satellites. Taurus II will also be capable of supporting mid-inclination and polar orbiting spacecraft weighing 10,000 lbs. and 5,500 lbs., respectively.