STENNIS SPACE CENTER, MS (WLOX) - New jobs are coming to Stennis Space Center. Aerojet Rocketdyne announced Monday assembly and testing of its AR1 advanced liquid rocket engine will take place at the NASA facility in Hancock County. As a result, the company is expanding and adding 70 new jobs.
Aerojet Rocketdyne's Stennis operation is already home for assembly and testing of two other engines. The RS-68 engine powers the Delta IV family of launch vehicles, and the RS-25 engine will power NASA's Space Launch System, America's newest heavy lift launch vehicle in development.
"I am pleased that Aerojet Rocketdyne has chosen to expand its operations in Mississippi, which will strengthen our nation's aerospace industry and bring more good-paying jobs to the Gulf Coast. Establishing this new center of excellence is vital to reducing our reliance on foreign-made rocket engines," said U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker.
The AR1 is being developed to support the country's mandate to eliminate U.S. reliance on the Russian RD-180 engine for national security space launches by 2019.
"We have had a long history of partnering with Stennis to power the nation into space. Assembly and testing of the AR1 at NASA Stennis adds to that legacy. This plan will establish Aerojet Rocketdyne's facility at NASA Stennis as the company's center of excellence for large liquid rocket engine assembly and test and solidify NASA's Stennis Space Center as the nation's premier rocket engine test facility," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.