LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed a major expansion of its Los Angeles facility to support production of new generation RS-25 main engines for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.
“This expanded facility will meet NASA’s human exploration needs for decades to come,” said Eileen P. Drake, CEO and President of Aerojet Rocketdyne. “We added state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities and other features to make large RS-25 engine components more efficient and economical.”
On August 18, Drake and members of her executive team held a ribbon cut to mark the completion of the $ 59 million expansion that added 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the facility. Attendees for the ceremony included California Congressman Brad Sherman, NASA Liquid Engines manager Johnny Heflin, and other federal, state, and local dignitaries.
“The San Fernando Valley has a long history of pioneering aerospace innovation. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s work to manufacture RS-25 engines continues this tradition and will usher in a new age in manned space exploration. I applaud this significant investment in manufacturing space and job creation right here in the Valley, ”said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
The Los Angeles expansion includes renovations to existing buildings, the addition of additive manufacturing (3D printing) capabilities, and new test and storage facilities. The highlights include:
- Four new selective laser melting systems for additive manufacturing
- Non-destructive testing equipment
- Around 11,000 square meters of additional welding room
- A new horizontal vacuum furnace for soldering exotic engine materials
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Los Angeles facility is just a few miles from where the company originally manufactured some of the iconic propulsion systems for the American space program. These include the Mercury-Redstone A-7 engine, which carried the first US astronaut into space, the fully reusable Space Shuttle Main Engine and most of the engines for the Apollo missions, especially the F-1 engines that the first stage power NASA’s Saturn V moon rocket and the J-2 engines that power the second and third stages.
With its unparalleled power and lifting capabilities, NASA’s SLS will launch crews of up to four astronauts aboard the agency’s Orion spacecraft. Together, SLS and Orion are the foundational hardware elements of NASA’s Artemis program that will bring the first woman and person of color to the moon. Each first stage SLS is powered by four RS-25 engines, which together generate more than 2 million pounds of thrust.
About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), is a recognized global leader in aerospace and defense, propulsion systems and energetics for aerospace, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical support systems provided by national and international customers. More information is available at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6c7174cf-68d9-4e5b-abbe-36efec406e7f