|Industry||Aerospace and Defense|
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
|Eileen Drake (CEO and President)|
|Products||Rocket motor and missile propulsion|
Number of employees
|Parent||Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings|
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an American rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer. Headquartered in Sacramento, California, the company is owned by Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. Aerojet Rocketdyne was formed in 2013 when Aerojet (then owned by GenCorp) and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne were merged, following the latter's acquisition by GenCorp from Pratt & Whitney. On April 27, 2015, the name of the holding company, GenCorp, was changed from GenCorp, Inc. to Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. As part of a $4.4 billion acquisition, struck on December 20, 2020, Lockheed Martin is to take over Aerojet Rocketdyne in the second half of 2021, pending regulatory approvals. On February 17, 2021, Raytheon objected to the acquisition, citing a reduction of competition for rocket boosters impacting the company's supply line.
On 13 October 2017, it was reported that Aerojet Rocketdyne completed a keystone demonstration on a new X3 ion thruster, which is a central part of the XR-100 system for the NextSTEP program. The X3 ion thruster was designed by the University of Michigan and is being developed in partnership with the University of Michigan, NASA, and the Air Force. The X3 is a Hall-effect thruster operating at over 100 kW of power. During the demonstration, it broke records for the maximum power output, thrust and operating current achieved by a Hall thruster to date. It operated at a range of power from 5 kW to 102 kW, with electrical current of up to 260 amperes. It generated 5.4 Newtons of thrust, "which is the highest level of thrust achieved by any plasma thruster to date." A novelty in its design is that it incorporates three plasma channels, each a few centimeters deep, nested around one another in concentric rings. The system is 227 kg (500 lb) and almost one meter in diameter.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is the prime contractor to the US Department of Energy for the Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. The first flight MMRTG is currently powering the Mars Curiosity Rover, and a second flight unit powers the Mars 2020 Rover.
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