Rocket Engine Maker in Orbit Over Mars Mission
San Fernando Valley Business Journal (SFVBJ)
By Mark R. Madler, Staff Reporter
With any government-sponsored program, funding for the Space Launch System is a key component. In that regard, the program has good support, said Keybanc’s Ciarmoli. For the 2016 fiscal year, NASA requested $1.4 billion for the program. The House of Representatives approved that amount this month and tacked on an additional $550 million. “There is definitely good dollar flow,” he said. “If you look at any of the plans to get to Mars, all that is going to be predicated on the Space Launch System.” Aerojet Rocketdyne does not disclose revenue from specific programs. Still, as the Space Launch System moves forward it forecasts that program generating up to 10 percent of the total revenue. “The first flight is still a ways away but once that gets into operation and there’s a regular launch tempo, it will help drive them ahead of their peers in organic revenue growth potential,” Ciarmoli said. The importance of Aerojet Rocketdyne to the Valley’s economy cannot be overestimated. Kenn Phillips, the chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance, a business attraction and retention organization in Sherman Oaks, said some of the smartest people in the nation are found at Los Angeles area aerospace companies, Aerojet Rocketdyne among them. The high paying, high-end manufacturing jobs create disposable income for cars, retail products, restaurant meals and other activities that in turn create more jobs, Phillips said. Supplying a large program like the Space Launch System can mean a trickledown of work. “The subcontracts for these types of jobs are large and they can go to local companies,” said Phillips, who worked at Rocketdyne when it was owned by Boeing.