Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded Contract to Develop Propulsion Technology for CubeSats

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has been awarded a contract from the Flight Opportunities Program Office at Armstrong Flight Test Center to develop propulsion technology for miniature satellites that could possibly lower cost and accelerate mission schedules.

Under the first phase of the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop and perform hot-fire tests on its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. If selected for a flight demonstration in a second phase, the MPS-120 would be the first chemical propulsion system ever used on a CubeSat.

„This is a significant milestone for us and represents a payoff for years of hard work in internal research and development,” said Christian Carpenter, program manager for Space Advanced Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. „We’re honored that NASA has selected us to innovate a product that would give CubeSats substantial propulsion capabilities in space.”

The MPS-120 is advanced propulsion technology that shrinks a propellant tank, isolation system and four rocket engines into a 1,000-cubic centimeter box. The MPS-120 would be one of several same-sized units with different functions and purposes that, when stacked together, form a modular satellite known as a CubeSat.

CubeSats are able to perform valuable technology demonstrations because of their low-unit prices and frequent launch opportunities. To date, CubeSats have not included sufficient propulsion to access many of the missions of interest to NASA. Development of CubeSat propulsion technology would enable NASA to perform new missions at substantially lower costs and faster schedules than previously possible. For more information, visit:

Source / Author: Aerojet Rocketdyne