Aerojet Rocketdyne nets $67M contract for Orion propulsion systems

The contract will allow Aerojet, which has a manufacturing facility in Redmond, to maintain a stable workforce for years to come.

Aerojet Rocketdyne nets $67M contract for Orion propulsion systems

Lockheed Martin Corp. awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a contract worth $67 million on Wednesday.

Orion will provide support to NASA's Artemis lunar mission by transporting crew into space, to orbit the moon and back.

Aerojet offers components that are used from the moment you see the first smoke and fire on the launchpad until you see the splashdown in water, Donald Mahr, director for human space and electric propellant at Aerojet told The Business Journal.

With 400 employees, the company is among Washington's biggest aerospace employers.

Mahr stated that the entire team was inspired by the lunar mission and exploration mission. They were able to find things they didn't know they would discover.

Aerojet has already delivered engines and launch systems to the first two phases of the Artemis Program and is currently producing others for future Artemis missions. The new contract covers the development of the Artemis VI through Artemis VIII missions, which are reportedly scheduled for 2031.

Aerojet has developed launch aborts, rocket engines for crew modules and engines that will help the craft orient itself for reentry.

Mahr stated that the contract "allows us to maintain a steady workforce for many years to come." It gives me a sense that there is work to do.

Aerojet has 40 positions open in Redmond. These include test technicians, project engineers, and machinists.

A press release states that some contract work will be performed at the company's Huntsville (Alabama) and Orange County (Virginia) sites.

Lockheed Martin's designs, which are the primary contractor for Orion, call for crew modules to be refurbished, as well as control thrusters that were made for earlier Artemis phases. Orion completed its first test in December, after it circled the moon and concluded the Artemis I mission.

Mahr stated that the program will also usher in the'sustained presence of the moon.' This includes the Gateway lunar orbiting satellite, which is designed to allow longer missions to conduct more complex research across the entire moon's surface.

He said that the ultimate goal was to have a permanent presence on Mars. This is our testbed.

Lockheed Martin purchased in 2020 for $4.4 billion. However, the deal was cancelled by the Federal Trade Commission after a lawsuit was filed to stop the acquisition.