Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company and a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader, announced the recent successful launch of NASA's THEMIS mission aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.
NASA's two-year mission, Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) consists of five identical probes launched to study and gather data on substorms that occur when stored solar energy in Earth's space environment suddenly erupts. Substorms may act as catalysts for large space storms, causing significant radiation, disrupting communications and ultimately jeopardizing space exploration missions and astronaut safety. Substorms can be seen in the northern hemisphere as a sudden colorful radiance of the Northern Lights.
The Delta II launch on Feb. 17 deployed the five THEMIS probes from a single rocket -- the highest number of scientific satellites ever launched by NASA on one launch vehicle. Since then, all probe propulsion systems have checked nominal. Aerojet designed and built the five propulsion systems for the THEMIS probes under contract to Swales Aerospace and the second stage Delta II engine under contract to the Boeing Company, now United Launch Alliance.
Collected mission data will help identify the location and timing of the substorms -- a capability not previously possible with single-satellite missions. NASA expects the probes to observe approximately 30 substorms throughout the two-year mission.
"Aerojet is honored to support another critical science mission," says Scott Neish, president of Aerojet. "Understanding the role of substorms in severe space weather will help to resolve long-standing scientific questions that are important to the safety and protection of our spacecraft and astronauts."
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile, space propulsion 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 entitlement, sale and leasing of the company's excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company and a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader, announced the recent successful launch of NASA's THEMIS mission aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.