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Aerojet Rocketdyne Secures Largest Contract Yet

The Rising Tide of Amazon Kuiper Lifts All in the Launch Services Harbor

Aerojet Rocketdyne just got its largest RL10C-X engine contract ever with an order for 116 units for the United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur Rocket. 

The ULA program will use the engines to fulfill its recently acquired launches in support of the upcoming Kuiper project. The Amazon satellite constellation itself accounted for the industry's largest commercial launch contract ever in the giant's bid to create a global connectivity solution capable of going toe to toe with similar providers. 

The RL10 series engine is a well-proven, classic option for launch operators, having flown more than 500 missions spanning 60+ years in service. Some of its more famous platforms have been the ULA's Atlas V and Delta IV launch systems. The latest and greatest from Aeroject, the RL10C-X leverages as many cutting edge techniques and materials as the company could get their hands on. Additive manufacturing throughout the injector and combustion chamber has allowed unprecedented levels of simplicity in manufacturing and design, even down to the extendable nozzle. The 94-inch carbon composite cone is a single piece, allowing for a level of rigidity and durability its forebears could only dream of. 

"The RL10 engine is the nation’s premier upper-stage engine and a true workhorse in the industry," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO Eileen P. Drake. "With the RL10C-X, we've leveraged our industry-leading 3D-printing technology to significantly reduce the cost of the engine while at the same time increasing its performance to provide our customer with enhanced mission capability."

"The RL10 is the highest performance upper-stage rocket engine flying today," said ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno. "We’re proud to be launching the Kuiper constellation with the next generation of this incredibly reliable and high-performance engine."



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