Shares in Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. leapt on Tuesday by more than 12 percent following an announcement the company had won two major NASA contracts, worth a total of $1.4 billion.
The rocket engine manufacturer will do work at its Chatsworth campus on both contracts.
One is for the RS-25 engine for the Space Launch System, a contract valued at more than $1.2 billion through 2024. The Space Launch System is NASA’s next generation heavy-lift rocket that will take astronauts on missions into deep space, potentially even to Mars. The RS-25 engine is an updated version of the Space Shuttle main engine. Four of the engines will be used on the SLS rocket.
The other contract, valued at $200 million, is the service module propulsion system for the Crew Space Transportation Starliner capsule, which is scheduled to begin transporting astronauts to the International Space Station in early 2017.
The main contractor of the program is Boeing Co., in Chicago. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s contribution is four launch-abort engines, 24 orbital maneuvering and attitude control engines and 28 reaction control system engines, along with their associated hardware.
“Aerojet Rocketdyne is leveraging adaptations of proven hardware and technologies to deliver an affordable reliable propulsion system that can be counted on to perform throughout the spacecraft’s mission and ensure the safety of the astronauts and success of the mission,” Terry Lorier, service module propulsion system program manager, said in a prepared statement.
Shares in the Sacramento area company closed up at $1.98, or 12.1 percent, to $18.23 on the New York Stock Exchange.