Aerojet Rocketdyne Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary of First Solar Electric Propulsion Mission

Aerojet Rocketdyne Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary of First Solar Electric
Propulsion Mission

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a
GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, announced today that it is celebrating the 30-year
anniversary of its first Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) mission. 

In 1983, Aerojet Rocketdyne's first SEP rocket engines were used on the RCA
Americom Satcom-1R satellite.The Satcom-1R SEP engines were an early version
of the modern Electrothermal Hydrazine Thrusters (EHT) that used excess power
from the satellite's solar arrays to increase the performance of the
state-of-the-art hydrazine rocket engine by 50 percent.

"Since the Satcom-1R launch, Aerojet Rocketdyne has continued to improve the
EHT product line and has flown more than 200 EHTs for a variety of mission
functions, including stationkeeping and orbit positioning of communication
satellites," said Aerojet Rocketdyne Vice President of Advanced Space & Launch
Systems Julie Van Kleeck. "Additionally, over the past 30 years, Aerojet
Rocketdyne has worked to develop innovative new SEP technologies and increase
SEP performance levels to greater than 10 times the original Satcom-1R EHT

Since 1983, Aerojet Rocketdyne SEP achievements include:

  *Providing more than 500 SEP thrusters with 100 percent mission success
  *Supporting 215 current satellites with Aerojet Rocketdyne SEP systems
  *Designing and manufacturing the highest power, highest efficiency Hall
    system– the Aerojet Rocketdyne 5-kiloWatt (kW) zero-erosion^TM XR-5 Hall
  *Designing and manufacturing the highest power SEP system ever flown, the
    Aerojet Rocketdyne 30-kW arcjet system
  *Setting a world record 48,000-hour life test on the 7-kW NEXT ion engine
    jointly produced by Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA Glenn Research Center
  *Designing and manufacturing the only 12kW Hall system, the zero-erosion^TM
    XR-12 System, that was validated through integrated system testing and
    achieved the highest demonstrated technology readiness level
  *Developing five different SEP technologies that operate with power levels
    from 100 watts to 50 kW and specific impulse performance levels exceeding
    4,000 sec, including: EHTs, arcjets, Pulsed Plasma Thrusters, Hall
    systems, and Ion systems.

"Aerojet Rocketdyne has a proud heritage as the innovation leader in Solar
Electric Propulsion," said Aerojet Rocketdyne President Warren M. Boley, Jr.
"SEP is a readily-available option for cost-effective missions and the Aerojet
Rocketdyne team is prepared to continue driving this technology well into the

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader
providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense, strategic,
tactical missile and armaments areas in support of domestic and international
markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions
that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy and
real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and
GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' websites at

CONTACT: Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941
         Erin Dick, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 818-586-4977

company logo
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.