"Our crew module reaction control engines are critical to the entire Orion landing sequence," said Samuel Wiley, Aerojet Rocketdyne program director for Human Space. "The successful EFT-1 flight demonstrated the RCS technology and now we are expanding the engine capabilities to support future flights into deep space."The crew module RCS that Aerojet Rocketdyne is now manufacturing for delivery to Lockheed Martin next year is significantly enhanced from the system flown on EFT-1. Design changes include: increasing the structural capability of the engines and support structure; increased engine nozzle temperature capability to withstand more severe aero-thermal environments during re-entry of the crew module into Earth's atmosphere; and reducing overall mass of the system. The successful CDR also verified the new design and confirmed the use of cutting-edge additive manufacturing technology in the fabrication of engine components. "Successful critical design reviews for the jettison motor and the crew module reaction control system represent the culmination of several years of disciplined engineering and development work that required perseverance and dedication to meet the level of rigor necessary for human space flight programs," added Van Kleeck. "Sending humans beyond deep space is becoming increasingly closer as progress on Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) continues for the 2018 launch." EM-1 will be the first time the SLS is integrated with the Orion spacecraft. The mission will send Orion into lunar distant retrograde orbit – a wide orbit around the moon that is farther from Earth than any spacecraft built for humans has ever traveled. In support of the EM-1 mission, the company recently completed the first verification test series of the RS-25 engine, the former space shuttle main engine, for flight aboard the SLS. The test series is verifying the engine's higher performance, new operating environments and certifying a new controller on the engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne, the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine, will continue testing of flight engines and controllers at NASA's Stennis Space Center through next year in preparation of the first flight of SLS.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
CONTACT: Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202-302-9941 Glenn.Mahone@Rocket.com Lynn Machon, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 916-355-3587 Lynn.Machon@Rocket.com