Aerojet Rocketdyne has announced the delivery of four RL10 upper stage engines to NASA´s Stennis Space Center that will help power the rocket of NASA´s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as it carries Orion astronauts to deep space, the company said.
These missions are part of NASA´s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon, and set the stage to send astronauts to Mars.
A single RL10 engine will provide nearly 25,000 pounds of thrust and serve as the main propulsion for the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) that will fly atop the SLS rocket Block 1 in support of each of the first three Artemis missions.
Later Artemis missions will use the evolved SLS Block 1B rocket configuration that includes the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) powered by four RL10 engines to send Orion and large cargos to the Moon. The four RL10 engines on EUS provide more than 97,000 pounds of thrust.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is under contract to deliver 10 RL10 engines to NASA to support the Artemis program. One of the four engines that were recently delivered will be used to support the Artemis II mission that will use the ICPS upper stage, while the other three are slated to support future Artemis missions aboard the EUS. Delivery of the remaining six engines will be completed by 2021.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers.