Aerojet Rocketdyne has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA for the testing of a rocket engine that Aerojet intends to offer as a replacement for the RD-180 engine produced by Russia.
NASA will configure a test stand at the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to facilitate staged combustion trials on Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 engine technology as part of the deal, the company said Tuesday.
The company agreed to finance the cell 2 testing platform modification at the Stennis E-1 complex.
Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s advanced space and launch business, said the company uses a stairstep approach and additive manufacturing techniques in the AR1 development program.
The engine is being developed to employ pre-burner and main injector systems designed to withstand high temperatures and pressures.
Aerojet Rocketdyne aims to have the AR1 ready for use on Atlas V launch vehicles by 2019.