10 January 2014
GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company Aerojet Rocketdyne said that its dual AJ26 main engine system successfully boosted Orbital Sciences Corp.´s (NYSE: ORB) Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft on the first commercial resupply services mission carrying the Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
Liftoff occurred at 1: 07 p.m. EST from NASA´s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Following in-orbit activation shortly after launch, the Cygnus spacecraft will use 32 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106M 7 lbf monopropellant hydrazine thrusters to perform required in-orbit maneuvers. Berthing with the ISS is scheduled for approximately 6 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Jan. 12.
The AJ26 is a commercial derivative of the NK-33 engine that was first developed by the Kuznetsov Design Bureau of Samara, Russia, to power the Russian N-1 rocket on a lunar mission in the early 1970s. As an oxidizer-rich, staged-combustion, oxygen kerosene engine, it achieves very high performance in a lightweight, compact package.
The Orbital-1 commercial resupply services mission is the first of eight missions covered under the CRS contract. Aerojet Rocketdyne´s small monopropellant hydrazine thrusters aboard the Cygnus enable the spacecraft to move in any direction required for the mission.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense, strategic, tactical missile, and armaments areas in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company providing innovative solutions to its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies´ websites at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.