WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two Florida attractions now have RL10 upper-stage rocket engines on display, thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne: the new Gateway™: The Deep Space Launch Complex® at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island, and the Cox Science Center and Aquarium (CSCA) in West Palm Beach where the RL10 is produced.
“The RL10 has been the nation’s premier, high-performance launch vehicle upper-stage rocket engine for nearly 60 years,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “We’re excited to work with Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Cox Science Center to tell the RL10 story and inspire future rocket scientists.”
The RL10 engine, which is designed, manufactured, assembled and tested in West Palm Beach, Florida, has played a vital role in placing hundreds of military, government and commercial satellites into Earth’s orbit, and has helped send spacecraft to explore every planet in our solar system, including Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, the first two spacecraft to reach interstellar space.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex tells the story of the RL10 program, which has flown more than 500 engines in space since its first successful launch in 1963. The RL10 powered the upper stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, as part of the Artemis I mission this past November. A single RL10 will power the SLS upper stage during the next two Artemis missions, and four RL10 engines will support the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage that is being developed for use beginning with Artemis IV. Two RL10 engines also power the upper stage of each flight of the new United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket.
“Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, which opened in the summer of 2022, focuses on the present and future of collaborative space exploration,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “The RL10 is the perfect example of how the science of today will launch us into the innovation of tomorrow, and is an important component of our new attraction.”
Visitors to the interactive RL10 display in the new Gateway attraction have the opportunity to mix liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants in order to simulate hot firing the engine.
“The Cox Science Center and Aquarium has been serving Palm Beach County since 1961 and our mission is to open every mind to science,” said CSCA President and CEO Kate Arrizza. “We’re so excited to have a new RL10 rocket engine that is manufactured right here in Palm Beach County now on display. It will educate millions of learners for years to come and inspire the next generation of space scientists and explorers.”
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 www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.