Home To the moon: Rocket propulsion manufacturer plans $41.2M expansion in Orange County
Economy, Virginia

To the moon: Rocket propulsion manufacturer plans $41.2M expansion in Orange County

Crystal Graham
rocket in space
(© Sergey – stock.adobe.com)

A rocket propulsion manufacturer plans to upgrade capacity at its Orange County location including new facilities, equipment and tools to increase production.

L3Harris Technologies will invest $41.2 million in the expansion which should create 80 new jobs over the next three years.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris company, signed a cooperative agreement with the Defense Department last year that will help fund the expansion. According to its website, the company will power a return trip to the moon.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company, and NASA have finished all the hot-fire tests required to certify new versions of the RS-25 engine for the agency’s Space Launch System rocket. These engines will be used on Artemis missions starting with the fifth flight of SLS.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Orange County and the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development to secure the project for Virginia.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin approved a $540,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Orange County with this project.

Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“This agreement builds upon L3Harris and U.S. government investments in our solid rocket motor production capabilities for critical defense systems,” said Ross Niebergall, president, of Aerojet Rocketdyne, L3Harris.

“We have been a part of the Virginia community for decades and look forward to growing our talented workforce here as we produce the vital propulsion that helps protect our nation and its allies.”

L3Harris Technologies provides a full range of propulsion and power systems for rockets, spacecraft and other space vehicles; strategic missiles; missile defense; and tactical systems and armaments.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.