A United Launch Alliance Atlas V begins the flight downrange on the USSF-12 mission (Photo credit: ULA)
July 26, 2022 - United Launch Alliance (ULA) has an unmatched record in reliability with more than 150 consecutive launches since the company was formed in 2006. For the past 14 years, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Redmond, Washington facility has been supporting ULA’s Atlas V Centaur upper stage and the Delta IV Cryogenic Second Stage with reaction control system (RCS) thrusters.
These thrusters are critical to providing roll, pitch and yaw control as well as propellant settling burns on the upper stages of the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets.
“Taking over once the boost phase is complete and the vehicle is in outer space, the upper stage propels the payload toward its final destination, whether that is into orbit around Earth or off into deep space to explore our galaxy. Without the RCS thrusters, it would be hard for ULA to deliver spacecraft to their final destinations with the accuracy that it does,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Senior Vice President of Space Jim Maser.
Aerojet Rocketdyne recently delivered its last set of RCS thrusters on March 24, officially closing out its deliverables for the Atlas V and Delta IV programs. Throughout the program, Aerojet Rocketdyne has delivered 106 shipsets of RCS thrusters, either on time or ahead of schedule.
Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106H monopropellant thrusters are packaged in four modules on both the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage and the Centaur upper stage. A total of 1,272 engines across 106 shipsets have been delivered to date since 2008.
“Achieving 100% on-time delivery performance throughout a 14-year program is no small feat, and we’re looking forward to continuing this track record with our support of ULA’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket,” added Maser.
A ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket lifting off with the NROL-82 mission (Photo credit: ULA)
ULA’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket set to debut later this year will also employ 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne RCS thrusters.
In addition to the RCS thrusters, Aerojet Rocketdyne also supplies RL10 engines using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants to power the Delta, Atlas V and Vulcan Centaur upper stages. Aerojet Rocketdyne subsidiary ARDÉ also provides composite overwrapped pressure vessels (tanks) that support operation of the Atlas, Delta and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles.