Aerojet Rocketdyne), a GenCorp company, and Dynetics have announced a strategic partnership in Huntsville, Ala., to enhance collaboration in aerospace technologies and systems.
Based on marked success supporting NASA’s Space Launch System Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction program, AR and Dynetics plan to expand the existing partnership to include: high-temperature, lightweight materials; next generation additive manufacturing technologies; in-space propulsion systems and high performance booster rocket engine systems.
Since 2012, the Dynetics-led team has executed on NASA’s SLS ABEDRR contract to reduce risks for advanced boosters that could help meet SLS’ future capability needs. The team has successfully manufactured its first two full-scale, 18-foot diameter cryogenic tank barrels.
“Our team took the flight-weight tank barrels all the way from concept design to successful manufacturing in less than 10 months, demonstrating that Dynetics’ affordable launch vehicle structures approach is credible,” said Kim Doering, Dynetics’ Space Division manager.
The team also made recent progress in its effort to create more affordable propulsion systems. In less than four months after the contract award, the team, working closely with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, successfully resurrected the world’s most powerful rocket engine ever flown – the F-1 that powered the Saturn V rocket – and test fired its 30,000 pounds-force gas generator in Huntsville, Ala. Modern instruments on the test stand measured performance properties to allow engineers a starting point for creating a new generation of affordable advanced booster propulsion systems.
“Because of these tests, the team successfully completed design and fabrication of a new full-scale gas generator injector using additive manufacturing that will be hot fired at Marshall Space Flight Center in late 2014,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne Vice President for Advanced Space & Launch Systems, Julie Van Kleeck. “Additionally, other components have been produced, demonstrating affordable casting techniques for large, complicated engine components.”
Geared at providing more value for government and commercial customers, the AR and Dynetics partnership already has resulted in significant benefits to launch systems customers.
“We are excited about this expansion of our already productive partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne. Its rich history, innovative engineering team and unmatched experience in propulsion systems development make this a natural pairing between our two firms,” said President of Dynetics, David King.
President of Aerojet Rocketdyne, Warren M. Boley, Jr., said, “By expanding this partnership with Dynetics in Huntsville, the team can deliver innovation combined with affordability to customers using state-of-the-art design, development and manufacturing capabilities.”