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NASA official lands at Aerojet to discuss next mission

By: Laura Newell, Of the Telegraph
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Recently Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., who leads a nationwide NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S. space program, visited Aerojet Rocketdyne in Rancho Cordova to tour the facility which helps send rockets into space.

Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He began his duties as head of the agency on July 17, 2009.

At the Aerojet conference, he spoke with GenCorp President and Chief Executive Officer Scott J. Seymour on NASA’s next mission, Orion.

“Technology drives on exploration,” Bolden said. “One thing that Aerojet does really well is focusing on the future. They also recognize the people involved and educating young people to look towards the future.”

Bolden said it has been an exciting trip to Aerojet.

“What’s exciting is to walk through this facility here at Aerojet and see the excitement of young people who are excited in what they are doing here,” Bolden said. “We have a plan right now for getting Orion into space.”

According to officials, the Orion spacecraft will take astronauts beyond low Earth orbit to deep space. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space. The spacecraft will launch on Exploration Flight Test-1, and uncrewed mission planned for 2014. This test will see Orion travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years, Bolden said.

“We are very pleased to be working with Aerojet Rocketdyne on this next exciting mission into space,” Bolden said. “Aerojet has always had an eye to the future, so it’s time for some of these ideas to be pushed forward. That’s my job, to get people excited about these ideas and making it happen.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets

GenCorp is a diversified company providing innovative solutions to its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy and real estate markets.

For more information, visit www.rocket.com and www.gencorp.com.