The RS-25 engines, which combine tried-and-true performance with state-of-the-art engineering and technology, will power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most potent rocket in the world. Astronauts will be sent on lunar and, eventually, Martian missions by the SLS. Utilizing equipment and cutting-edge manufacturing processes created for the Space Shuttle Program as well as other exploration initiatives, the SLS Program is able to achieve its goals. Costs associated with development and operation are being drastically decreased by integrating these with fresh designs and modern technology. A range of crew and cargo mission requirements can be accommodated by SLS, which is meant to be adaptable and flexible.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s financial performance in the second quarter was impacted by delays in the RS-25 engine production schedule for NASA, although the business anticipates catching up on the schedule later this year. In the three months that ended on June 30, the business recorded net sales totaling $528.5 million and earnings of $16.4 million as of August 1. The company recorded net sales totaling $556.9 million and net profits of $45 million for the same quarter in 2021, which were both lower than those figures.
Continuing production delays for new RS-25 engines, according to business executives, were a major contributor to the decreased sales. In 2020, the business was awarded a $1.79 billion deal by NASA to create a brand-new Space Launch System engine that is disposable. The present stock of reconditioned RS-25 engines from the shuttle era will be utilized up on the first 4 SLS launches, after which those engines will be utilized.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s president and CEO, Eileen Drake, stated during the conference call that supply chain problems resulting from the testing of the engines have slowed down the manufacture of the new RS-25 engines.
“Those delays are not due to a scarcity of raw materials or components,” she explained. “Rather, they are due to bottlenecks in first article qualification testing as we strive to intensify our supply chain after multiple decades of no RS-25 manufacturing.” She did not go into detail about the problem other than to say that there were problems with “initial article inspections and setting up those programs again.”
The chief financial officer of Aerojet, Dan Boehle, and Drake both expressed their optimism that the RS-25’s problems would be rectified quickly. Boehle predicted that part of the catch-up on RS-25 would be a major driver of those sales in the second half of the year. Drake stated that “we’re working extensively with our vendors and we’re certain we’ll manage through these challenges and achieve enhanced revenue growth for the second period of the year.”