Aerojet Engines Maneuver Discovery's Docking to ISS

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Aerojet Engines Maneuver Discovery's Docking to ISS Aerojet, a GenCorp company and Space Foundation Corporate Patron Partner, announced that its engines contributed to Space Shuttle Discovery’s (STS-133) on-orbit operations and successful docking to the International Space Station (ISS).

Discovery lifted off Feb. 24 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked with the ISS on Feb. 26.
Discovery is delivering the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the space station as well as supplies for the crew. The PMM will provide additional storage for the station crew and for experiments that will be conducted inside it.

Aerojet manufactured the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines and the Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters, each having flown on every shuttle mission since its launch inception in 1981, as well as gas generators supporting the Auxiliary Power Units. The two OMS engines are used to place the shuttle into orbit and return it to earth. The 38 primary and six Vernier RCS thrusters are used for attitude control during flight operations such as payload insertions and ISS docking.

Discovery’s arrival at the ISS marks the first and only time that all of the visiting vehicles (Soyuz, Progress, Japan’s Konoutori2 HTV, Europe’s Johannes Kepler ATV and Discovery) are on station at the same time. Including Discovery’s engines, thrusters and gas generators, 32 engines on the HTV and four on the ATV, Aerojet provides 85 propulsive elements on station.

Aerojet is an aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading 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. Find additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp by visiting the companies’ websites at and



This article is part of Space Watch: March 2011 (Volume: 10, Issue: 3).