Up, Up and Away! Aerojet Propulsion Supports Successful Atlas V Launch

Press Release From: Aerojet
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2006


Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. company, provided one solid rocket booster for the launch vehicle and both electric and chemical propulsion for the satellite as a Lockheed Martin AtlasŪ V launched the ASTRA 1KR television broadcasting satellite for SES ASTRA of Luxembourg today from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch occurred at 4:27 EDT.

The satellite will join a fleet of orbiting ASTRA craft transmitting programming to the leading direct-to-home satellite system in Europe.

Aerojet's solid rocket booster (SRB) is 67-feet long and provides an average of 250,000 pounds of thrust. Aerojet SRBs have flown in previous vehicle configurations using two, three and five boosters. This was the first Atlas V flight with the one SRB configuration. Aerojet also provided the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems A2100(TM) satellite with four arcjet systems and 18 monopropellant thrusters for north-south station-keeping and attitude control of the satellite. In addition, 12 Aerojet monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters on the Atlas V Centaur upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control, and settling burns for the upper stage main engine. Aerojet also supplied 8 retro rockets for Atlas Centaur separation from the launch vehicle.

"Lockheed Martin has a stellar record of more than 75 successful consecutive Atlas launches and an award-winning A2100(TM) satellite platform," said Aerojet President Scott Neish. "Aerojet is pleased to support Lockheed Martin as it continues its launch record of excellence."

Aerojet is under contract with Lockheed Martin for the SRB, arcjet systems, thrusters and retro rockets. Aerojet developed, produced and tested the SRB in California, using technology derived from its extensive experience producing solid rocket motors for Peacekeeper and Small ICBM missile systems. The arcjet propulsion system and monopropellant thrusters were designed, produced and tested by Aerojet in Redmond, Wash. The retro rockets were designed and developed by Aerojet in Gainesville, Va. and manufactured in Camden, Ark.

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, and defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate business segment that includes activities related to the development, sale and leasing of the Company's real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the Companies' Web sites at and

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