Partner News

Aerojet Rocketdyne Delivers Key Space and Defense Capabilities for the Nation During 2020

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2020 – Major contract awards to support the nation’s heavy-lift exploration rocket and next-generation strategic deterrent programs were among the 2020 highlights for Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Other contributors to another successful year in service to the nation were additional breakthroughs and contract awards in space exploration, missile defense, hypersonics and national security launch, as well as achieving a number of milestones on long-running space and defense production programs. The company produced more than 330 in-space engines and nearly 70,000 solid rocket motors this year.

Aerojet Rocketdyne employees displayed great resilience and innovation as they adapted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company implemented comprehensive safety protocols and flexible workforce practices to keep our employees safe while continuing to meet our commitments to America’s defense and space exploration programs.

The following are some of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s noteworthy achievements in 2020:


Propulsion Protecting the Nation and our Warfighters

National Security Space

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne will supply RL10 upper-stage engines – two per flight – to United Launch Alliance for use on its Vulcan rocket, one of two vehicles selected to launch national security payloads starting in 2022 under the U.S. Space Force’s Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement program.
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne celebrated the 500th flight of its RL10 upper-stage engine as part of the launch of the Defense Department’s sixth and final Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite aboard ULA’s Atlas V rocket.
  • An RL10 engine, along with Aerojet Rocketdyne-supplied pressure tanks and controlling thrusters, supported the launch of the X-37 orbital space plane aboard an Atlas V rocket in the second successful U.S. Space Force mission since the service was established in 2019.
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion played a key role in the launches of two National Reconnaissance Office missions, NROL-101 and NROL-44, launching aboard ULA’s Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy rockets, respectively.

Deep Space Exploration

International Space Station

Satellite Servicing

Innovating and Investing for the Future

Serving the Nation

Community Impact

  • In 2020, Aerojet Rocketdyne, the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation and our employees together donated $1.7 million to organizations that are funding important efforts that include STEM scholarships, disaster recovery and COVID-19 relief.
  • In a year that brought major changes to education programs, Aerojet Rocketdyne remained committed to encouraging the next STEM generation. In 2020 we participated in 12 virtual national STEM events and supported 17 local site events, joined virtual mentorships with local universities and created an enrichment resource page with free, up-to-date online curricula and activities for employees and the general public.

For more details on how Aerojet Rocketdyne is enabling our nation’s defense and space exploration programs, please visit

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 and Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.


Media Contacts:

Eileen Lainez, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-239-7839
[email protected]

Mary Engola, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-289-1371
[email protected]