Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that after 30 years of partnership with NASA, its engines have contributed to the final docking of the space shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS). Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) completed its on-orbit operations and successful docking this morning. Embarking on its 33rd flight, Atlantis lifted off on July 8 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis, which made its maiden voyage in 1985, is the fourth orbiter built by NASA. For this last 12-day mission, the shuttle will deliver more than 8,000 lbs. of supplies that will be necessary to sustain the ISS after the shuttle program ends. The crew also will prepare close to 5,000 lbs. of cargo to bring back to Earth when Atlantis lands on July 20.
The mission carries the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) experiment that will demonstrate and test the technologies and tools that will be needed to robotically refuel satellites in space, even if they do not require servicing.
Since the initial shuttle launch in 1981, Aerojet's Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines and Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters have flown on every shuttle mission since its inception, as well as seven gas generators supporting the Auxiliary Power Units. The two OMS engines are used to place the shuttle into orbit and return it to Earth. The 38 primary and six Vernier RCS thrusters are used for attitude control during flight operations such as payload insertions and ISS docking.
"Along with all of the employees at Aerojet, I am so very proud to have had the privilege of being a part of the shuttle program that is culminating in this historic moment today," said Vice President Space and Launch Systems, Julie Van Kleeck. "We also thank NASA and all of those who have contributed so much to the United States, including the more than 16 other countries that have participated throughout the 30-year space shuttle program."
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate 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' websites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.