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Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (AJRD)

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38.07-0.55 (-1.42%)
At close: 1:00PM EST
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Previous close38.62
Open38.69
Bid32.26 x 1000
Ask0.00 x 900
Day's range37.72 - 38.69
52-week range32.15 - 57.27
Volume186,987
Avg. volume706,738
Market cap2.909B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.34
PE ratio (TTM)24.87
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date20 May 2004
1y target estN/A
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  • Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Plays Key Role in Atlas V Mission for the NRO
    GlobeNewswire

    Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Plays Key Role in Atlas V Mission for the NRO

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Nov. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion hardware played a key role in the successful launch of a classified U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload from Space Launch Complex 41 here aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. “We take our role in helping to launch critical national security assets into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office very seriously,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CEO and president. “Our flight proven and reliable RL10 upper-stage engines have supported these types of missions for nearly six decades, and we look forward to providing them for many years to come.”The Atlas V’s Centaur cryogenic upper stage is powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10 engine, which is built in West Palm Beach, Florida, and completed its 500th flight earlier this year. The highly reliable RL10 has long been a mainstay of U.S. national security and space exploration programs, a legacy that will continue with ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, which is expected to debut next year.For pitch, yaw and roll control, the Centaur relies on 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106 reaction control thrusters built in Redmond, Washington. Pressure tanks provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s ARDÉ subsidiary, located in Carlstadt, New Jersey, support both the Centaur as well as the rocket’s first stage.About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.Media Contacts: Todd McConnell, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 561-882-5395 Todd.McConnell@rocket.com Mary Engola, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-289-1371 Mary.Engola@rocket.com

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. Reports 2020 Third Quarter Results
    GlobeNewswire

    Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. Reports 2020 Third Quarter Results

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD) today reported results for the three months ended September 30, 2020. Financial Overview Three months ended September 30, Nine Months ended September 30,  2020 2019 2020 2019           (In millions, except percentage and per share amounts) Net sales$527.7  $481.8  $1,516.2  $1,458.5  Net income31.7  32.9  102.3  115.7  Net income as a percentage of net sales6.0% 6.8% 6.7% 7.9% Adjusted Net Income (Non-GAAP measure*)31.7  29.4  99.6  107.1  Adjusted Net Income (Non-GAAP measure*) as a percentage of net sales6.0% 6.1% 6.6% 7.3% Earnings Per Share (“EPS”) - Diluted0.38  0.39  1.23  1.39  Adjusted EPS (Non-GAAP measure*)0.38  0.35  1.19  1.29  Adjusted EBITDAP (Non-GAAP measure*)62.5  62.2  201.2  211.6  Adjusted EBITDAP (Non-GAAP measure*) as a percentage of net sales11.8% 12.9% 13.3% 14.5% Cash provided by operating activities11.0  65.2  138.6  96.4  Free cash flow (Non-GAAP measure*)(3.8) 55.8  107.6  80.1  _________ * The Company provides Non-GAAP measures as a supplement to financial results based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). A reconciliation of the Non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is included at the end of the release.“We continued our strong momentum in top line growth in the third quarter with sales of $528 million, up 10% from a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 4%,” said Eileen P. Drake, CEO and President of Aerojet Rocketdyne. “The growth was driven by the GMLRS and MRBM programs in the defense business and the RS-25 program in the space business. EBITDAP margin in the quarter was 11.8% and year-to-date was 13.3%. We’ve had strong cash generation in 2020 with year-to-date free cash flow of $108 million, up 34% from the first nine months of 2019.”“In addition to the growth we’re seeing on our existing programs, I’m very excited about the announcement during the quarter that Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (“EMD”) phase of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (“GBSD”) program,” continued Drake. “As a key member of their nationwide team, we will be developing a large solid rocket motor and the post-boost propulsion for this critical program. Our strong backlog position of $6.7 billion, which is up 49% from the third quarter a year ago, is not yet reflective of our EMD contracts from Northrop Grumman on GBSD which we expect to have signed in the near-term. We’re well-positioned to execute on this important new program and continue to focus on making improvements that we expect will generate current and future operational successes.”Third quarter of 2020 compared with third quarter of 2019The increase in net sales was primarily driven by the RS-25 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (“THAAD”) programs, partially offset by a decline on the Commercial Crew Development program.The decrease in net income was impacted by (i) cost growth and performance issues in the current period on the Commercial Crew Development program; (ii) higher retirement benefits expense; and (iii) an increase in environmental remediation expenses. These factors were partially offset by (i) improved performance on the Electric Propulsion programs; (ii) risk retirements on the THAAD program; (iii) lower stock-based compensation; and (iv) lower depreciation expense. The Company had $2.7 million of net favorable changes in contract estimates on net income in the current period compared with net favorable changes of $2.9 million in the third quarter of 2019.First nine months of 2020 compared with first nine months of 2019The increase in net sales was primarily driven by the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (“GMLRS”), RS-25, and Medium Range Ballistic Missile (“MRBM”) programs partially offset by a decline on the Commercial Crew Development program and the cancellation in 2019 of the Redesigned Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (“RKV”) program.The decrease in net income was impacted by the following: (i) cost growth on a portion of the Standard Missile program in 2020; (ii) cost growth and performance issues in 2020 on the Commercial Crew Development program; (iii) the reserve release upon the final AJ-60 solid rocket motor delivery in 2019; and (iv) higher retirement benefits expense. These factors were partially offset by (i) improved performance on the Electric Propulsion programs; (ii) lower stock-based compensation; and (iii) lower depreciation expense. The Company had $16.0 million of net favorable changes in contract estimates on net income in the current period compared with net favorable changes of $31.6 million in the first nine months of 2019.BacklogAs of September 30, 2020, the Company’s total remaining performance obligations, also referred to as backlog, totaled $6.7 billion compared with $5.4 billion as of December 31, 2019. The increase in backlog was due to a $1.8 billion contract modification for the production of an additional 18 RS-25 engines to support future deep space exploration missions. The Company expects to recognize approximately 30%, or $2.1 billion, of the remaining performance obligations as sales over the next twelve months, an additional 24% the following twelve months, and 46% thereafter. A summary of the Company’s backlog is as follows: September 30, 2020 December 31, 2019       (In billions) Funded backlog$3.1   $2.1   Unfunded backlog3.6   3.3   Total backlog$6.7   $5.4   Total backlog includes both funded backlog (unfilled orders for which funding is authorized, appropriated and contractually obligated by the customer) and unfunded backlog (firm orders for which funding has not been appropriated). Indefinite delivery and quantity contracts and unexercised options are not reported in total backlog. Backlog is subject to funding delays or program restructurings/cancellations which are beyond the Company’s control.COVID-19During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Company’s financial results and operations were not materially adversely impacted by the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic. The safety and welfare of employees remains a top priority, and the Company has continued to operate with established safety protocol, which includes selected and site-specific work and travel restrictions, in addition to other measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Company has also continued to evaluate new opportunities to protect its employees. Although the Company has not experienced significant absenteeism or supply chain disruption, the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the Company’s future financial results depends on future developments which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the pandemic and the actions being taken to contain and treat it, and other indirect effects that may come as a result of actions taken by governments, companies, and individuals in response to the pandemic and its economic impact.Treasury StockDuring the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Company repurchased 0.3 million of its common shares at a cost of $12.3 million. The Company reflects stock repurchases in its financial statements on a “settlement” basis. Additionally, in October 2020, the Company repurchased 1.0 million of its common shares at a cost of $39.4 million.Forward-Looking StatementsThis release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements in this release and in subsequent discussions with the Company’s management are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainty and changes in circumstances, which could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance or achievements. All statements contained herein and in subsequent discussions with the Company’s management that are not clearly historical in nature are forward-looking and the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. A variety of factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expected and expressed in the Company’s forward-looking statements. Important risk factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: * the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on economic and other conditions worldwide, including global spending, sourcing and the business operations of the Company and its customers and suppliers, among others; * reductions, delays or changes in U.S. government spending; * cancellation or material modification of one or more significant contracts; * cost overruns on the Company’s contracts that require the Company to absorb excess costs; * changes in estimates related to contract accounting; * failure to secure contracts; * failure of the Company’s subcontractors or suppliers to perform their contractual obligations; * failure to comply with regulations applicable to contracts with the U.S. government; * the release, unplanned ignition, explosion, or improper handling of dangerous materials used in the Company’s businesses; * loss of key qualified suppliers of technologies, components, and materials; * failure of the Company’s information technology infrastructure, including a successful cyber-attack, accident, unsuccessful outsourcing of certain information technology and cyber security functions, or security breach that could result in disruptions to the Company’s operations; * the Company’s Competitive Improvement Program may not be successful in aligning the Company’s operations to current market conditions; * the funded status of the Company’s defined benefit pension plan and the Company’s obligation to make cash contributions in excess of the amount that the Company can recover in its current period overhead rates; * effects of changes in discount rates and actuarial estimates, actual returns on plan assets, and government regulations on defined benefit pension plans; * costs and time commitment related to potential and/or actual acquisition activities may exceed expectations; * failure of the Company’s information technology infrastructure or failure to perform by the Company’s third party service providers; * product failures, schedule delays or other problems with existing or new products and systems; * the possibility that environmental and other government regulations that impact the Company become more stringent or subject the Company to material liability in excess of its established reserves; * environmental claims related to the Company’s current and former businesses and operations including the inability to protect or enforce previously executed environmental agreements; * reductions in the amount recoverable from environmental claims; * significant risk exposures and potential liabilities that are inadequately covered by insurance; * inability to protect the Company’s patents and proprietary rights; * business disruptions to the extent not covered by insurance; * changes or clarifications to current tax law or procedural guidance could adversely impact the Company’s tax liabilities and effective tax rate; * the substantial amount of debt that places significant demands on the Company’s cash resources and could limit the Company’s ability to borrow additional funds or expand its operations; * the Company’s ability to comply with the financial and other covenants contained in the Company’s debt agreements; * changes in LIBOR reporting practices or the method by which LIBOR is determined; * risks inherent to the real estate market; * changes in economic and other conditions in the Sacramento, California metropolitan area real estate market or changes in interest rates affecting real estate values in that market; * the loss of key employees and shortage of available skilled employees to achieve anticipated growth; * a strike or other work stoppage or the Company’s inability to renew collective bargaining agreements on favorable terms; and * those risks detailed in the Company’s reports filed with the SEC.About Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., headquartered in El Segundo, California, is an innovative technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems, with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the Company’s excess real estate assets. More information can be obtained by visiting the Company’s websites at www.rocket.com or www.aerojetrocketdyne.com.Contact information: Investors: Kelly Anderson, investor relations 310.252.8155 Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.        Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations        Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,  2020 2019 2020 2019           (In millions, except per share amounts) Net sales$527.7  $481.8  $1,516.2  $1,458.5  Operating costs and expenses:        Cost of sales (exclusive of items shown separately below)441.6  392.9  1,251.7  1,170.1  Selling, general and administrative expense11.2  15.1  31.0  44.2  Depreciation and amortization15.1  18.4  49.7  53.4  Other expense, net3.3  0.3  1.2  1.3  Total operating costs and expenses471.2  426.7  1,333.6  1,269.0  Operating income56.5  55.1  182.6  189.5  Non-operating:        Retirement benefits expense9.1  6.5  27.4  19.5  Interest income(0.5) (3.9) (4.7) (11.9) Interest expense7.2  9.0  23.0  27.2  Total non-operating expense, net15.8  11.6  45.7  34.8  Income before income taxes40.7  43.5  136.9  154.7  Income tax provision9.0  10.6  34.6  39.0  Net income$31.7  $32.9  $102.3  $115.7  Earnings per share of common stock       Basic earnings per share$0.40  $0.42  $1.30  $1.47  Diluted earnings per share$0.38  $0.39  $1.23  $1.39  Weighted average shares of common stock outstanding, basic77.6  77.3  77.6  77.1  Weighted average shares of common stock outstanding, diluted81.9  82.8  82.4  81.5  Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.        Unaudited Operating Segment Information         Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,  2020 2019 2020 2019           (In millions) Net Sales:        Aerospace and Defense$527.1  $480.0  $1,513.4  $1,453.1  Real Estate0.6  1.8  2.8  5.4  Total Net Sales$527.7  $481.8  $1,516.2  $1,458.5  Segment Performance:        Aerospace and Defense$61.5  $59.2  $184.4  $201.2  Environmental remediation provision adjustments(1.6) (0.8) (1.7) (1.5) GAAP/Cost Accounting Standards retirement benefits expense difference1.8  6.6  11.1  17.5  Unusual items—  —  (1.8) (0.3) Aerospace and Defense Total61.7  65.0  192.0  216.9  Real Estate(0.4) 0.4  (1.4) 1.5  Total Segment Performance$61.3  $65.4  $190.6  $218.4  Reconciliation of segment performance to income before income taxes:        Segment performance$61.3  $65.4  $190.6  $218.4  Interest expense(7.2) (9.0) (23.0) (27.2) Interest income0.5  3.9  4.7  11.9  Stock-based compensation(5.5) (9.0) (13.2) (24.5) Corporate retirement benefits(1.8) (1.8) (5.6) (5.4) Corporate and other(6.6) (6.0) (16.6) (18.5) Income before income taxes$40.7  $43.5  $136.9  $154.7  The Company evaluates its operating segments based on several factors, of which the primary financial measure is segment performance. Segment performance represents net sales less applicable costs, expenses and provisions for unusual items relating to the segment. Excluded from segment performance are: corporate income and expenses, interest expense, interest income, income taxes, and unusual items not related to the segment. The Company believes that segment performance provides information useful to investors in understanding its underlying operational performance. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.    Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet     September 30, 2020 December 31, 2019       (In millions) ASSETS Current Assets    Cash and cash equivalents$1,010.0  $932.6  Restricted cash3.0  3.0  Marketable securities1.5  —  Accounts receivable, net182.4  112.5  Contract assets273.3  224.1  Other current assets, net138.5  145.8  Total Current Assets1,608.7  1,418.0  Noncurrent Assets    Right-of-use assets48.9  48.0  Property, plant and equipment, net403.8  409.9  Recoverable environmental remediation costs228.8  234.8  Deferred income taxes107.8  121.9  Goodwill161.4  161.4  Intangible assets48.0  58.2  Other noncurrent assets, net247.4  255.6  Total Noncurrent Assets1,246.1  1,289.8  Total Assets$2,854.8  $2,707.8  LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY Current Liabilities    Current portion of long-term debt$297.7  $284.7  Accounts payable93.7  127.3  Reserves for environmental remediation costs42.1  40.1  Contract liabilities343.4  262.3  Other current liabilities144.2  155.5  Total Current Liabilities921.1  869.9  Noncurrent Liabilities    Long-term debt331.4  352.3  Reserves for environmental remediation costs262.0  269.1  Pension benefits379.9  398.9  Operating lease liabilities38.3  39.1  Other noncurrent liabilities213.2  201.8  Total Noncurrent Liabilities1,224.8  1,261.2  Total Liabilities2,145.9  2,131.1  Commitments and contingencies    Stockholders’ Equity    Common stock7.7  7.7  Other capital585.2  573.3  Treasury stock(25.0) (12.7) Retained earnings347.2  244.9  Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of income taxes(206.2) (236.5) Total Stockholders’ Equity708.9  576.7  Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity$2,854.8  $2,707.8  Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.    Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows     Nine months ended September 30,  2020 2019       (In millions) Operating Activities    Net income $102.3  $115.7  Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:    Depreciation and amortization49.7  53.4  Amortization of debt discount and deferred financing costs7.4  7.0  Stock-based compensation13.2  24.5  Retirement benefits, net18.9  16.2  Other, net0.2  0.3  Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects from acquisition in 2019:    Accounts receivable, net(69.9) (29.7) Contract assets(49.2) (2.0) Other current assets, net7.3  (22.8) Recoverable environmental remediation costs6.0  10.5  Other noncurrent assets, net6.9  (21.5) Accounts payable(33.6) 7.8  Contract liabilities81.1  (4.5) Other current liabilities(12.0) (45.1) Deferred income taxes4.2  (19.3) Reserves for environmental remediation costs(5.1) (9.7) Other noncurrent liabilities and other11.2  15.6  Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities138.6  96.4  Investing Activities    Purchases of marketable securities(26.5) —  Sales of marketable securities25.0  —  Capital expenditures(31.0) (16.3) Net Cash Used in Investing Activities(32.5) (16.3) Financing Activities    Debt repayments(14.7) (15.9) Repurchase of shares for withholding taxes and option costs under equity plans(8.8) (7.5) Proceeds from shares issued under equity plans7.1  5.1  Purchase of treasury stock(12.3) —  Net Cash Used in Financing Activities(28.7) (18.3) Net Increase in Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash77.4  61.8  Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash at Beginning of Period935.6  740.3  Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash at End of Period$1,013.0  $802.1  Use of Unaudited Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresAdjusted EBITDAP, Adjusted Net Income, and Adjusted EPSThe Company provides the Non-GAAP financial measures of its performance called Adjusted EBITDAP, Adjusted Net Income, and Adjusted EPS. The Company uses these metrics to measure its operating and total Company performance. The Company believes that for management and investors to effectively compare core performance from period to period, the metrics should exclude items that are not indicative of, or are unrelated to, results from the ongoing business operations such as retirement benefits (pension and postretirement benefits), significant non-cash expenses, the impacts of financing decisions on earnings, and items incurred outside the ordinary, ongoing and customary course of business. Accordingly, the Company defines Adjusted EBITDAP as GAAP net income adjusted to exclude interest expense, interest income, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, retirement benefits net of amounts that are recoverable under the Company’s U.S. government contracts, and unusual items which the Company does not believe are reflective of such ordinary, ongoing and customary activities. Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS exclude retirement benefits net of amounts that are recoverable under its U.S. government contracts and unusual items which the Company does not believe are reflective of such ordinary, ongoing and customary activities. Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS do not represent, and should not be considered an alternative to, net income or diluted EPS as determined in accordance with GAAP. Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,  2020 2019 2020 2019           (In millions, except per share and percentage amounts) Net income $31.7   $32.9   $102.3   $115.7   Interest expense7.2   9.0   23.0   27.2   Interest income(0.5)  (3.9)  (4.7)  (11.9)  Income tax provision9.0   10.6   34.6   39.0   Depreciation and amortization15.1   18.4   49.7   53.4   GAAP retirement benefits expense9.1   6.5   27.4   19.5   CAS recoverable retirement benefits expense(9.1)  (11.3)  (32.9)  (31.6)  Unusual items—   —   1.8   0.3   Adjusted EBITDAP$62.5   $62.2   $201.2   $211.6   Net income as a percentage of net sales6.0 % 6.8 % 6.7 % 7.9 % Adjusted EBITDAP as a percentage of net sales11.8 % 12.9 % 13.3 % 14.5 %          Net income $31.7   $32.9   $102.3   $115.7   GAAP retirement benefits expense9.1   6.5   27.4   19.5   CAS recoverable retirement benefits expense(9.1)  (11.3)  (32.9)  (31.6)  Unusual items—   —   1.8   0.3   Income tax impact of adjustments (1)—   1.3   1.0   3.2   Adjusted Net Income$31.7   $29.4   $99.6   $107.1            Diluted EPS$0.38   $0.39   $1.23   $1.39   Adjustments—   (0.04)  (0.04)  (0.10)  Adjusted EPS$0.38   $0.35   $1.19   $1.29            Diluted weighted average shares, as reported and adjusted81.9   82.8   82.4   81.5   _________(1)   The income tax impact is calculated using the federal and state statutory rates in the corresponding period.Free Cash FlowThe Company also provides the Non-GAAP financial measure of Free Cash Flow. Free Cash Flow is defined as cash flow from operating activities less capital expenditures. Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation, as a measure of residual cash flow available for discretionary purposes, or as an alternative to cash flows from operations presented in accordance with GAAP. The Company uses Free Cash Flow, both in presenting its results to stakeholders and the investment community, and in the Company’s internal evaluation and management of the business. Management believes that this financial measure is useful because it provides supplemental information to assist investors in viewing the business using the same tools that management uses to evaluate progress in achieving the Company’s goals. The following table summarizes Free Cash Flow: Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,  2020 2019 2020 2019     (In millions) Net cash provided by operating activities$11.0   $65.2   $138.6   $96.4   Capital expenditures(14.8)  (9.4)  (31.0)  (16.3)  Free Cash Flow$(3.8)  $55.8   $107.6   $80.1   Because the Company’s method for calculating these Non-GAAP measures may differ from other companies’ methods, the Non-GAAP measures presented above may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. These measures are not recognized in accordance with GAAP, and the Company does not intend for this information to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for GAAP measures.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Collection
    GlobeNewswire

    Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Collection

    OSIRIS-REx spacecraft - artist conception Artist’s conception of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx’s propulsion system is comprised of 28 Aerojet Rocketdyne engines. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of ArizonaREDMOND, Wash., Oct. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will execute its long awaited sample collection of asteroid Bennu on Oct. 20. OSIRIS-REx is a NASA mission that will enable us to learn more about the formation of our solar system by collecting a sample from near-Earth asteroid Bennu, and returning the sample to Earth for study. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the sole propulsion provider for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, providing all 28 of the rocket engines aboard. Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the engines to Lockheed Martin, the spacecraft prime contractor. The highly anticipated sample collection is a culmination of nearly two years of surveying Bennu and rehearsing the operation. Aerojet Rocketdyne engines will maneuver the spacecraft from orbit toward the desired touchdown location on the surface of Bennu. Once contact is achieved, nitrogen gas will be directed onto the surface to blow small particles of regolith into the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, or TAGSAM. After the sample is secure, Aerojet Rocketdyne engines will safely propel the spacecraft away from the asteroid’s surface.“The sample collection portion of the mission requires our engines to perform with extremely high precision with no room for error,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen P. Drake. “From the ultra-low-thrust engines that fine tune the spacecraft’s orbit, to the higher thrust engines that will propel OSIRIS-REx back to Earth, each of the 28 Aerojet Rocketdyne engines on the spacecraft are critical to the success of the mission.”The departure window for OSIRIS-REx to return to Earth opens in March 2021. Once the window opens, four high-thrust engines will place OSIRIS-REx on a trajectory that intersects the orbit of the Earth in September 2023. The final maneuver will involve steering the spacecraft away from Earth after the sample return capsule has been jettisoned for reentry, and placing the spacecraft into a stable orbit around the Sun.The propulsion suite on OSIRIS-REx is comprised of the following engines: four 60-lbf MR-107S, six 5-lbf MR-106L, 16 1-lbf MR-111G, and two 0.1-lbf MR-401. All 28 engines on OSIRIS-REx were developed at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington. In addition to the critical in-space propulsion provided to the spacecraft, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s contribution to the OSIRIS-REx mission extended to the launch vehicle’s first and second stages as well.About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.Media Contacts: Ashley Riser, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-236-4091 Ashley.Riser@rocket.com Mary Engola, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-289-1371 Mary.Engola@rocket.comA photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/43499876-5942-484f-acdf-68d97438ff8a