Eileen Drake, president and CEO of Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the company wants to test its AR1 rocket engine this year after securing a $353.8M contract to continue its development, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne the original $804M other transaction agreement in 2016 to develop AR1, which United Launch Alliance initially planned to integrate into its Vulcan rocket.
“It’s still my goal to test that engine,” Drake said during the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado.
Jim Maser, senior vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne's space business segment, noted that the company is also looking at niche demands for a medium-class launch vehicle similar to Delta-2 powered by AR-1 and the firm’s RL10 upper-stage engine.
ULA announced last year that it selected a Blue Origin-developed BE-4 engine to power the Vulcan launch vehicle.