Within your own backyard lies one the of the biggest rocket engineering camps called Aerojet Rocketdyne. This a company many of us at Oak Ridge high School have heard of, but do you really know what the history and importance of this company is? This company has created El Dorado Hills and shaped this town into what it is today. Aerojet is a company that is close to becoming a century old, deep within the company is a vast history with many accomplishments and roots within our very own Sacramento area.
Even Aerojet was officially formed in 1942 by Andrew G. Haley. The company was created within a meeting by Caltech students and professors and rocket scientists. They were all intrigued by flying in space. They built prototypes and then the company was officially made. In 1944, General Tire bought half of the Aerojet stocks, now even into 2017 General Tire owned a majority of the company. In 2013, Aerojet was currently owned by GenCorp and merged with Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne. This new merger is now known as Aerojet Rocketdyne. NASA, the space exploration company, chose Aerojet to to primarily design and create the propulsion system used on the orion spaceship. The orion was designed to send four astronauts to space to explore outer space, make sure the International space station is functioning properly, and newest of all explore mars. America wants to be the first to have humans step foot on mars, like we did with the moon landing. The company that drives that project and end goal is, Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Aerojet, once a small rocket engineering company escalated into a powerhouse for developing rocket propulsion systems. Aerojet was apart of many milestones for America. One of the greatest was being the space race. Aerojet scored, “a major contract to support Orbital Maneuvering Engines for NASA’s next vehicle – the Space Shuttle.” Aerojet built the rocket propulsion systems used in not only NASA space shuttles but the rovers used to explore mars. Aerojet was one of America’s secret weapons during the Cold War. The War were not one shot was fired, a nuclear arms race. When Russia was developing these nuclear weapons and we caught wind of it, we tried to catch up by building our own. Not only did Aerojet help us then, but still today they are doing the same thing. We have the same nuclear threats from, North Korea. Aerojet still researching and developing propulsion systems for the nuclear missiles, that we may have to use one day.
Aerojet was able to accomplish these US milestones within the Sacramento area. The company started out in the Southern California area. But in the 1950’s, “ The rapidly growing company moved from southern California to Sacramento”. They moved to the greater Sacramento area, or Rancho Cordova to develop the area. There was no business or houses nearby. Down the road from Aerojet, a town named El Dorado Hills was a developing community at the time. Tony Mansour a industrial creator. This man saw potential to grow a town. Mansour along with Victor Gruen, a master designer, had planned to build this town right down the road from the Aerojet establishment. This move by this giant company not only brought residents to the vacant houses but business to the companies starting up within El Dorado Hills. Without the move of Aerojet into this area, everything we know and love would not exist. A world without Oak Ridge High School or even greater, a world with El Dorado Hills. One company turned a baron and upcoming town into a thriving community for all to enjoy. Within the Sacramento area Aerojet, “began manufacturing propulsion systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles, guided surface-to-air missiles and submarine-launched missile”. As you may know, testing anything can be dangerous, but for aerojet to test their products, they need harmful chemicals. They use jet fuel and other various chemicals to carry out with the procedures to test the engines. Where do these chemicals go once they’re done with them? The fuel used to start the engines is burned off into the atmosphere and the unused chemicals are buried into the ground. Burying these chemicals make the land Aerojet uses uninhabitable and not stable for any forms of live, such as animals or plants.
Within the history of the nearly century old company, has accomplished many great milestones. This company has helped the US grow and show the power to develop and manufacture these rocket propulsion systems.Within the past mont Aerojet Rocketdyne has proposed a new plan to move back to the Southern California area. This move, would relocate and remove nearly 1,100 jobs. If you email or call Aerojet you can help these 1,100 people keep their jobs. Not only are these employees losing their, we are losing arable land on earth as well. The land aerojet has used for eighty years, is all contaminated. The state of California let the company bury their unused or excess chemicals in the ground. If you email or call your local representative to address these issues.
Article by Wyatt Couch
“Company History.” Company History | Aerojet Rocketdyne, wwwwww.rocket.com/company-history.
“Aerojet-General Corp.” History of Aerojet-General Corp. – FundingUniverse, www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/aerojet-general-corp-history/.