Aerojet Awarded NASA Contract for Unique LOX-Hydrogen Deep Throttling Injector Development

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that it has been awarded a NASA MSFC contract to continue the innovative multi-circuit liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen injector development. This funding is part of the Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) project of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP develops new technologies that will enable NASA to conduct future human exploration missions, while reducing mission risk and cost.

The primary customers of the ETDP are the designers of flight systems in the Constellation Systems Program, such as the lunar lander project. By maturing new technologies to the level of demonstration in a relevant environment early enough to support a flight system's Preliminary Design Review (PDR), NASA can significantly reduce both cost and risk.

Aerojet's contract scope will be to complete the injector detailed design, fabrication, acceptance testing and delivery of this unique and innovative 9,000-lbf Deep Throttling Injector (DTI). Aerojet's 9000-lbf injector incorporates two separate liquid oxygen injector circuits to achieve deep throttling (10:1) capabilities, while still maintaining the high performance of the 100 percent thrust conditions. Aerojet has demonstrated this multi-circuit injector capability with a subscale (1500-lbf thrust) injector that had three separate circuits and achieved over 24:1 throttling ratio without measurable chamber pressure oscillations. This was accomplished while maintaining injector combustion efficiency greater than 98 percent at 100 percent power.

NASA's lunar lander program goals for the descent engine are a high-performance and a deep-throttling engine using highly energetic propellants such as liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen. To further this descent engine development, NASA is preparing a deep-throttling Lunar Lander Descent Engine Test Bed (LLDETB) system at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) for risk reduction testing and deep throttling technology maturation. "Aerojet is committed to providing innovative propulsion solutions for NASA and we are very excited to have this opportunity to work with the PCAD team on the Deep Throttling Injector," said Linda Andersen, Aerojet's director of Space Programs.

Aerojet, under a separate Space Act Agreement with MSFC, is also fabricating a channel wall combustion chamber that will be capable of operating with the other LLDETB test bed components. This deep throttling injector and chamber will be used in descent engine system tests that will provide timely risk reduction data for a lunar lander conceptual design phase.

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' Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.