- Parabolic Arc
- June 2, 2023
Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Key Design Milestone for AR1 Engine
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 17, 2015 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), announced it completed a key design milestone for its AR1 rocket engine this week. AR1 is an American-made engine that is being developed as a direct replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 engines that currently power launches of the majority of national security satellites to orbit for the U.S. government.
“This is one of the most important design reviews the program will undergo during its development,” said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space & Launch Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “As the only company domestically producing large liquid rocket engines, we apply rigorous design reviews as part of our overall development program, minimizing risk and helping ensure that we will meet the delivery schedule on a program of such national significance as AR1.”
“United Launch Alliance and Aerojet Rocketdyne have enjoyed a long relationship that spans decades,” said United Launch Alliance President and CEO, Tory Bruno. “Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to be a valued supplier and is making excellent progress on the AR1 engine development.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s stringent design, model, test and review process is essential for an engine developed to launch our nation’s most important national security space assets. During this design review, each of the 18 components and subsystems on the AR1 engine were thoroughly analyzed to ensure that each works properly and that once integrated, will function together seamlessly. With this review successfully completed, the company will continue with AR1 development in preparation for full-scale engine testing in 2017, and delivery of a flight-qualified engine ready for certification by 2019.
To date, AR1 has undergone more than 155 staged-combustion tests, built and successfully hot-fire tested additively manufactured components, conducted turbomachinery and valve tests, and began procurements for long-lead items.
“Our experience and proven track record of delivering highly reliable large liquid rocket engines, like the RS-25 for NASA’s Space Launch System and the RS-68 for the Delta IV launch vehicle, protects U.S. national security,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We have achieved every milestone in our AR1 schedule to be ready for 2019 – we have in place the production facilities, tools, equipment, supply base and, most importantly, highly skilled employees to manufacture the AR1 engine to meet the national security needs of our nation.”
The AR1 engine is powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants that use an advanced oxidizer-rich staged combustion cycle to generate 500,000 pounds of thrust. A set of two AR1 engines will generate one million pounds of thrust for the Atlas V launch vehicle. Configurable to multiple launch vehicles, AR1 is also a booster propulsion option for the proposed Vulcan launch system and other launch vehicles in development. The AR1 engine incorporates the latest advances in rocket engine technology, materials science and modern manufacturing techniques to deliver an affordable and reliable booster engine.
“We have been investing in the AR1 booster engine to maintain 2019 for the nation,” added Drake. “AR1 is the right fit for the problem confronting the United States, which is ending reliance on Russian rocket engines.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
18 responses to “Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Key Design Milestone for AR1 Engine”
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And this is exactly why the sanctions against Russia needs to be put back.
The Atlas V would still need to be re-certified after it gets a new engine. If the AR-1 isn’t ready until 2019, since this wasn’t even the PDR, a new launcher still waits until 2020. Just let ULA compete with their current engine. The politicians who want the ban will be long gone by then.
Nope. Look we ask Europe to impose sanctions on Russia ( rightly ), and they have. In addition, they are holding the line. Now, we turn around and ignore it just because a company that has been poorly ran wants higher profits? Nope. This is unethical, and foolish.
We can disagree on those Russian sanctions, since the US was behind the Coup that overthrew the elected government. I also don’t think we should pick sides in a civil war. Crimea stays with Russia unless you are willing to pay for a new Black Sea base for their Navy and will guarantee that NATO doesn’t use that port.
ULA is not a poorly run company. They excel at the one purpose they were created for : Launching payloads for DOD and NASA into space. Because of the requirements from their customers, they could not redesign Atlas or Delta to be cost competitive on the commercial market. Of course, when the main competition was Arianne, who was also subsidized, they didn’t have much choice. Now that they are allowed to compete, you seem to want to limit which launcher they are allowed to submit for these bids. That’s just your SpaceX side showing. Everyone knows that F9 vs Delta isn’t a fair comp.
First off, you are starting to sound like 2 others on this site that are WAY out there (and not much different than Trump). What evidence is there that America was behind the coup? I have heard different things from ppl that were there. 1 was a russian reporter who says that it absolutely was America behind it, but has no proof (yet, she was there). 2 others were Ukrainians that were there and they claimed that no, it was just a local uprising against their gov.
Secondly, there is a good reason why we did nothing about Crimea. And I agree with it. but Crimea and Ukraine have very different backgrounds.
ULA is in my backyard. Literally. they are a WASTEFUL company. I had high hopes for Bruno, but with this latest BS, as far I am concerned, they can be shutdown. To be honest, Bruno is looking to take ULA down to Alabama anyways, so, he might as well. BUT, for us to ignore these sanctions is just WRONG. We have no right to push Europe to do these and then we ignore them.
Sorry, it is total hypocrisy.
“Windborne” is right in this instance. Regardless of the geopolitical details, regardless of the impact to spaceflight, when you do something, when you create law that says something, you really have to at least hold yourself to that, if you want anyone to take you seriously.
The Atlas V would still need to be re-certified after it gets a new engine.
Who thinks the Atlas V is going to be around that long? It’s too expensive in its class and a new engine probably won’t make it less expensive. ULA has already announced that it will be replaced. It is fading into history as we speak.
Wait, I thought sanctioning Russia was about Ukraine. Heh, okay, so this other is only the worst kept secret in these dealings.
Ok, that does read kind of weird.
Basically, we are NOT supposed to be buying those engines due to the sanctions. Yet, we are lifting it to buy more engines so that ULA does not have to fly their Delta and can make more profits.
That is why I am hoping that SpaceX will punish ULA by bidding it very low and with little profits on these.
To have imagined this uncertainty, unease and upheaval in the space industry only a few years back would have been science fiction. So many angles to this disruption which SPX is leading, that will make for great reading many years into the future. ULA will survive, but watching them try to simultaneously manage legacy pricing modes, foreign affairs, public image, cost competition, ready pitchforks and John McCain. is long overdue pressure for which Elon has to be thanked.
why does elon have to be thanked for this?
Or do you mean that he is thankful?
Ha, Nice. How about both. Us for the catalyst that he was, is and should continue to be, and him for the boost our taxpayer funded NASA gave him. Fisker and ULA will attest to the cold sweats he’s given them.
The amount of $ subsidy that spacex got from NASA for COTS is less than 1/2 of what the DOD gives ULA to do nothing. So, not really that big of a deal.
However, where the REAL subsidy has been, is the help that NASA engineers have given SpaceX and other companies. In particular, they have pushed QA on these start-ups. That is a very hard thing for companies to learn, esp. if they are ran by MBAs ( Thankfully, Musk finds MBAs worthless esp. today’s MBAs). Even now, NASA actually helped SpaceX with this latest issue.
And yeah, any industry that Musk goes into, really needs to watch him. GM has a team of 20 ppl tracking Tesla. Apparently, so do the other companies in Europe.
Likewise, the solar industry is now closely watching Solar city due to their new cell/panel production.
And we all know that everybody in the space industry watches SpaceX like a hawk now. And I suspect that Blue Origin, along with Bigelow, will shortly be closely watched by all.
Yes, exactly, and so thanks are indeed due him and I am sure he is thankful for that expertise he was given, with which to facilitate this very welcome disruption.
It was never supposed to be like this anyway. It was supposed to be the High Frontier with lots of companies and name brand corporations involved in commercial spaceflight, colonies, etc.
The frontier was a mirage that cleared up. The ROI on mining may or may not be a mirage. What’s left is our need to explore. Both could not sustain that aspiration, with the only consolation being that all spending is done down here.
Hmm, I’ll have to do some work to compare the development progress of AR-1 and BE-4. Based on this press release, AR-1 isn’t as far behind as I thought, but I seem to remember Tory Bruno saying BE-4 was their 1st choice for Vulcan because it’s fully funded and it’s a year ahead of AR-1.
We append “-ski” onto anything the Russians build that resembles the American equivalent. Do you think they have something similar when it goes the other way?