Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. has played a major role in successfully launching and placing the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) spacecraft into orbit for the US military, the company said.
The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems included the RS-68A booster engine, the RL10B-2 upper-stage engine, 14 helium pressurization tanks, and a 100 lbf bipropellant apogee-raising engine aboard the WGS-9 spacecraft.
Aerojet Rocketdyne´s role in the launch began when a single RS-68A engine ignited to boost the Delta IV off the pad, providing 702,000 pounds of lift-off thrust. The RS-68A is the world´s most powerful liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. The RS-68 family of engines has now flown 35 commercial and government missions with 100% mission success.
After the upper stage separated from the launch vehicle, a single RL10B-2 upper-stage engine ignited to place the payload into orbit. The RL10B-2 delivers 24,750 pounds of thrust to power the Delta IV upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.
Once separated from the launch vehicle, WGS-9 will perform multiple burns on Aerojet Rocketdyne´s High Performance Apogee Thruster (HiPAT) rocket engine to complete the orbit raising from Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit to its final geosynchronous orbital position. The HiPAT rocket engine has a 100% mission success track record spanning over 115 missions, including all WGS spacecraft.
The Boeing-built WGS satellites provide increased military communications capabilities for US and allied forces deployed worldwide. They help support the exchange of information, execution of tactical command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (AJRD) provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.