Aerojet Rocketdyne recently conducted a solid rocket motor test firing that demonstrated the successful transition of large solid rocket motor mix, cast and test operations from Sacramento, California, to its Camden, Arkansas, site.
The motor was cast at Camden’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Development facility, which was officially opened last October. Aerojet Rocketdyne has been steadily building its capabilities and team at its Camden site, growing its workforce by more than 70% over the past five years.
Measuring 52 inches in diameter and weighing roughly 7,800 pounds, the eSR-73 is designed as an upper stage that can function as a second or third stage for a variety of large solid rocket motor applications. Aerojet Rocketdyne has produced large solid rocket motors for critical defense and space programs for decades.
The test firing of the eSR-73 demonstration motor builds upon work performed by Aerojet Rocketdyne for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on the Missile Components Advanced Technologies Demonstration Motor (MCAT Demo) program. The MCAT Demo motor was successfully test-fired last year at the Utah Test and Training Range.
Both tests demonstrated state-of-the-art graphite composite cases, affordable advanced nozzles and high-energy, long-life solid propellant. The eSR-73 is a step closer to production readiness and served as a pathfinder for producing and handling large solid rocket motors at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Camden site.
“Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to advance its decades of work delivering large solid rocket motors, leveraging new facilities and innovative technology and materials,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Our Camden site is now proven ready to support the nation’s defense requirements for large solid rocket motors.”
View a video of the test at rocket.com/esr73.