Aerojet Rocketdyne has been chosen to supply the main propulsion system for an experimental spaceplane being developed by Boeing Co. and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Engineering work on the engines for the XS-1 program will be done at Aerojet’s facility in Chatsworth.
The main propulsion for the reusable spacecraft is based on the main engines of the Space Shuttle and will be assembled from parts that remained in both Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA inventories from early versions of the shuttle engine.
The shuttle main engines were developed and manufactured in the San Fernando Valley when Rocketdyne was under different ownership. The aerospace company was acquired by Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. in 2013.
Aerojet Chief Executive Eileen Drake said the reliability of the Space Shuttle engines makes it the right choice to power the XS-1.
“This engine has a demonstrated track record of solid performance and proven reusability,” Drake said in a prepared statement.
The experimental spaceplane will be used to take small satellites into Earth orbit.