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Aerojet Completes Advanced Development Roll Control Thruster Testing

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:51 am via: source
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SACRAMENTO, Calif., (Aerojet) – Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that the company has recently completed testing of NASA’s Roll Control System (RoCS) Advanced Development thruster.

NASA awarded Aerojet the advanced development contract for the 600-lbf class engine in the spring of 2007. Aerojet and NASA have successfully conducted development-level preliminary and critical design reviews, as well as fabrication and life testing of two rocket engine assemblies (REA), based on the highly successful MR-80 design which landed the Viking landers on Mars. The second REA life test was completed at the Aerojet Sacramento test facility and the results demonstrated five times the mission life, far exceeding the qualification life requirement of three missions.



The RoCS performance met all NASA objectives, and with two successful life tests now completed, the results provide NASA designers with confidence in the redesigned MR-80. As a result, NASA researchers from Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) working on the thermal protection system (TPS) were able to place TPS materials in the thruster plume to get data on heating effects that more than doubled the maximum heat flux values they had previously been able to test.

“Aerojet is very pleased to offer NASA a proven propulsion solution for its next generation of launch vehicles,” said Tom Frei, program manager for the RoCS Advanced Development Program. The RoCS Advanced Development Program (ADP) effort is funded and managed by Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. for NASA’s Exploration Mission Systems Directorate as part of the Constellation project.

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