Aerojet tests the AJ26 rocket engine shown here during a hot fire test at Stennis. – NASA

Planetary

NASA Awards Final Space Launch System Advanced Booster Contract

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA has selected Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif., for a $23.3 million contract to develop engineering demonstrations and risk reduction concepts for future advanced boosters for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS).

Aerojet is one of four companies contracted under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) to improve the affordability, reliability and performance of an advanced booster for a future version of the SLS heavy-lift rocket.

The SLS vehicle will take the agency’s Orion spacecraft and other payloads farther than ever before. The initial 70-metric-ton (77-ton) configuration will use two five-segment solid rocket boosters similar to the boosters that helped power the space shuttle to orbit. An evolved 130-metric-ton (143-ton) rocket will require an advanced booster with more thrust than any existing U.S. liquid- or solid-fueled boosters.

Aerojet will work to reduce the risk and improve technical maturation of a liquid oxygen and kerosene oxidizer-rich staged-combustion engine. The company will fabricate a representative full-scale 550,000-pound thrust class main injector and thrust chamber, and prepare to conduct a number of tests measuring performance and demonstrating combustion stability.

Read more: NASA Awards Final Space Launch System Advanced Booster Contract | Moonandback.

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