10 July 2014
GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company Aerojet Rocketdyne said it has completed a study with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. to develop a common upper stage service for NASA, designed to enhance the performance of the NASA Launch Services (NLS) II medium and heavy launch vehicles for planetary and heliophysics missions, and pave the way for additional missions by providing more affordable launch services.
The new common upper stage could be integrated on a number of launch vehicles, including Antares, Atlas V and future NASA-procured launch vehicles such as the Delta IV Heavy. The upper stage would allow launch vehicles to deliver spacecraft and payloads to further destinations in space that are otherwise not possible with existing launch vehicles alone. The common upper stage could benefit NASA by enhancing capabilities and encouraging competition among launch vehicle providers for upcoming planetary and heliophysics missions. It would also be the first space vehicle to integrate the new green, non-toxic propellant being developed and qualified by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. and Aerojet Rocketdyne for NASA on the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).
The new common upper stage service could be available by 2017, and could enable such missions as Solar Probe Plus and future missions to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Aerojet Rocketdyne plans to provide a full upper stage service to NASA, the Department of Defense, commercial customers, principle investors and mission planners, and will provide support to them to better understand the service capabilities.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information is at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.