Every sector has its own challenges. The solution of any challenge widely depends on it s root cause. For that reason, the U.S. Air Force has decided to launch an orbital ATK rocket to be the answer to their desire of two families of satellite launchers. The company has already selected an engine of cryogenic Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 to power the upper stage of the vehicle. This was announced this week by the officials.
They have named this U.S.-made propulsion system OmegA and it might be launched in 2021 for the first time. However, Orbital ATK is has several aerospace companies competing with it for a pool of funding by the Air Force military is expected to award to one company this summer. The companies competing with Orbital ATK for the government support include; SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin. The Air Force has however announced that it will make at least three funding awards.
However, Orbital ATK disclosed previously that the first and the stage of their OmegA launched will be powered by two solid-fueled rocket motors. Officials in the company have considered proposals of hydrogen-fueled engine presented to them by Ariane Group and Blue Origin before they settled on Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10.
RL10C-5-1 is the new engine derivative that has been selected to fly on the new OmegA rocket. A modified version of this engine is flying currently on a United Launch Alliance rocket. According to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the new version of this engine is expected to feature an assembly of 3-D printed injector. Variant of the same RL 10 engine has flown in space for close to 500 times since 1960.
The choice of RL10 has been considered a perfect decision since this engine has been in existence for many decades and has provided great and reliable upper stage propulsion. Their goal is continuing the same legacy Orbital ATK’s OmegaA rocket. Rocketdyne’s CEO Eileen Drake said Orbital ATK will be able to make leverage investments that have been made by the United States Air Force by selecting RL10.
Officials of Orbital ATK have revealed that the development of OmegA rockets has advanced for the past three years as they entered into a joint investment with the Air Force. Orbital ATK has ranked the OmegA project as the most dominant rocket yet developed by any commercial space firm. The success of this project will be a great achievement to them as a company.