Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems played a key role in the successful launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying the Wide Field of View experimental missile warning satellite to orbit for the U.S. Space Force. Photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance.
United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket notches another successful mission
July 1, 2022 – Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems and tanks played an essential role in the July 1 launch of the U.S. Space Force Wide Field of View experimental missile warning satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The mission for the U.S. Space Force, known as USSF-12, was launched from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The mission also delivered additional rideshare payloads to orbit.
“Our nation invests significant resources in these incredibly complex national security space missions to keep us and our allies safe by maintaining situational awareness of the threats posed by would be adversaries,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Space Business Unit Senior Vice President Jim Maser. “Being part of the team that helps deliver these critical assets to orbit with 100% mission success is an incredible responsibility, and one we don’t take lightly.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10C-1 engine generated 22,900 pounds of thrust to propel the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage as it precisely delivered the spacecraft into its intended orbit. During its nearly 60 years of operational use, the RL10 family of engines has helped deliver hundreds of satellites to orbit and has sent spacecraft to explore every planet in our solar system.
A total of 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106 reaction control system thrusters helped steer Centaur by providing roll, pitch and yaw control. These hydrazine-fueled rocket engines generate 5 pounds of thrust each.
Six composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) built by Aerojet Rocketdyne subsidiary ARDÉ supported operation of the Atlas V. These tanks, four on the first stage and two on the second stage, hold helium at high pressure that is used to help deliver propellants to the Atlas V and Centaur engines.