Aerojet Rocketdyne will supply six RL10C-1 production engines to Stratolaunch Systems Corp. under a contract for the third stage of a commercial air-launch system for Stratolaunch’s unmanned Thunderbolt rocket.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said Monday the contract also contains an option for six additional RL10C-1 engines for The Eagles Launch System, which is scheduled to launch Thunderbolt into space in 2018.
“This contract expands our reach into commercial ventures and builds greater volume, providing more affordable propulsion to all of our customers,” said Steve Bouley, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Space Launch Systems.
The liquid-fuel cryogenic RL10C-1 is an upper-stage engine that is designed to propel a commercial or government payload carried by Thunderbolt into orbit after lower-stage propulsion systems are expended.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said the RL10 family of engines has been used in previous government, military, commercial and scientific space missions.