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Aerojet and Orbital announce completion of engine testing for Taurus II Space Launch Vehicle.

M2 EQUITYBITES-16 March 2010-Aerojet and Orbital announce completion of engine testing for Taurus II Space Launch Vehicle(C)2010 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

Aerospace and defence company Aerojet and Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), along with SNTK, Aerojet's Russian partner, have completed engine testing for Orbital's Taurus II space launch vehicle.

The companies said on Monday that a series of NK-33 rocket engine tests conducted in Samara, Russia were successfully completed in support of the development of the Taurus II space launch vehicle.

Orbital is developing the Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle to boost payloads into a variety of low Earth and geosynchronous transfer orbits and to Earth escape trajectories.

Reportedly, the purpose of the extended-time testing of the NK-33 engine, on which the AJ26 first-stage engine for the Taurus II rocket is based, was to demonstrate a 'hot-fire' duration equal to two times a normal Taurus II acceptance testing and launch profile duty cycle.

Three tests were conducted by SNTK with a cumulative duration of over 600 seconds, which verified the significant technical margins on engine performance and durability required by Orbital's Taurus II development program.

The completion of this margin testing is reportedly a significant milestone in Aerojet's contract with Orbital, and the success of the NK-33 engine tests in Russia is an important step forward in the development of the Taurus II rocket.

Aerojet is the provider of the AJ26/NK-33 rocket engine for the first stage of the Taurus II launcher.

Aerojet and Orbital are scheduled to begin ground testing of the AJ26 engine at NASA's Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi in less than two months.

Aerojet is a division of GenCorp (NYSE:GY).

Orbital is a provider of small-class and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.

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Publication:M2 EquityBites (EQB)
Date:Mar 16, 2010
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