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Aerojet wins 116-rocket engines order

April 13, 2022

Aerojet Rocketdyne has won an order from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the delivery of 116 RL10C-X rocket engines that will be used in the giant Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Aerojet Rocketdyne says the order is a direct result of the deal between ULA and Amazon “as part of the largest commercial launch contract in history to support the launch” of the Kuiper satellite constellation.

The ULA is a joint venture between military contractor giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing to launch government and commercial spacecraft, from satellites to capsules to probes. The ULA’s workhorse rockets are the Atlas V and Delta IV versions.

The Aerojet RL10 engines are upper stage engines that propel space vehicles once they have been launched into orbit. They have been in use since the early days of the 1960s and 1970s Apollo moon programme. The RL10 engine currently powers the upper stages of ULA’s Atlas V and Delta IV.

“The RL10 engine is the nation’s premier upper-stage engine and a true workhorse in the industry,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen P. Drake said in a statement. “With the RL10C-X, we’ve leveraged our industry-leading 3D-printing technology to significantly reduce the cost of the engine while at the same time increasing its performance to provide our customer with enhanced mission capability.”

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