GAINSVILLE, Va., 13 Dec. 2012. Retro rockets and monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters from Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, assisted with the launch of the U.S. Air Force Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket this week.
Eight Aerojet retro rockets aided with the Atlas Centaur separation from the launch vehicle, whereas 12 Aerojet monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters on the Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch, and yaw control, as well as settling burns for the upper stage main engine. All Atlas launches since the late 1980s have included Aerojet monopropellant reaction control thrusters on the Centaur upper stage, according to a company spokesperson.
Aerojet is under contract with ULA for the reaction control thrusters and retro rockets for the Atlas V program.
Aerojet's Redmond, Wash., team manufactured the Centaur upper stage reaction control thrusters for ULA. The retro rockets were designed and developed by Aerojet in Gainesville, Va. and manufactured in Camden, Ark.