Lockheed Martin Almost Buys Iconic American Rocket Company, Backs Out At Last Minute

Rocketdyne 6 photos
Photo: Wikimedia Commons ( Fair Use)
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Lockheed Martin has made the shocking announcement that it will be terminating its pursuit to purchase the Aerojet Rocketdyne company this week and their parent company, Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. Being one of the largest and most profitable military-industrial companies in the world apparently did not aid in a smooth and quick transaction.
As for Aerojet-Rocketdyne, it appears the El Segundo, California-based rocket design firm, will be staying under its current parent company. The company is iconic under the sole name of Rocketdyne as the designer of engines for both the Apollo and the Space Shuttle programs. Over the years, the company has been owned by giants like Rockwell International, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney, before its merger with the Aerojet company in 2013.

This news comes after the decision to terminate the agreement via the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) lawsuit filed late last month was announced. Seeking further litigation and negotiations before a sale can be finalized. In short, this government intervention effectively blocked the acquisition from going forward at all.

"Our planned acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne would have benefitted the entire industry through greater efficiency, speed, and significant cost reductions for the U.S. government," said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President, and CEO James Taiclet. "However, we determined that in light of the FTC's actions, terminating the transaction is in the best interest of our stakeholders. "

Meanwhile, the number of companies committing themselves to the private space travel industry only grows larger as each year passes. SpaceX and Elon Musk were committed to in-house development of all their engine technology. It could spell the beginning of a new era in how rockets are built, designed, and propelled.

In the short term, at least, Aerojet Rocketdyne will remain a prominent and bespoke rocket design team, free to operate as its native parent corporation sees fit. Could the Aerojet-Rocketdyne team compete with SpaceX technology in the upcoming space race? Only time will tell. Check back for more space technology news  and so much more here on autoevolution.
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