Lockheed Martin’s Mike Hawes and Scott Jones sign copies of a contract for Orion rocket hardware, after Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Ken Young and Cheryl Rehm take their turn. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
REDMOND, Wash. — Representatives of Aerojet Rocketdyne and Lockheed Martin put their signatures on a contract for up to $170 million worth of rocket hardware that’ll be installed on Orion spacecraft heading to the moon — with dozens of employees who’ll actually build that hardware watching the proceedings.
“These are the things you’re going to be talking to your grandchildren about,” Cheryl Rehm, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s senior director of Redmond programs, told company employees here at today’s signing ceremony.
The ceremony highlighted Redmond’s role in NASA’s Artemis moon landings.
“For the more than 400 employees sitting here in Redmond, there’s more than 10 years of work in front of us,” said Redmond general manager Ken Young. “It sets us up for follow-on ship sets well into the ’30s. So we’re happy to be a part of that.”
Aerojet’s Redmond operation has already been working on propulsion systems for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. In fact, employees on the factory floor are currently finishing up work on a set of thrusters that’ll be used for the first crewed mission, known as Artemis 2. That mission is scheduled to send astronauts around the moon and back in 2022.
Today’s contract addresses the missions that come afterward — starting with Artemis 3, which is due to land astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the Orion program, and Aerojet Rocketdyne is a subcontractor. The Redmond operation will build the rocket motor that pulls the Orion’s launch abort system away from the crew module after liftoff, the auxiliary engines that help steer the spacecraft during flight, and the …read more