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Lockheed Martin cancels merger with Aerojet Rocketdyne

Capitalism in space: Faced with a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opposing the merger, Lockheed Martin yesterday announced that it is terminating its effort to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Aerojet released a press release at the same time, insisting that the company remains viable and healthy, but there are doubts. While its rocket engines (its main business) remain technically reliable and well-built, they are relatively expensive. Moreover, the shift by rocket companies to build their own engines in the last decade has reduced its customer base significantly.

This loss of market is now compounded by a battle between two factions on the company’s board of directors.

While monopolies do not encourage competition, the merger with Lockheed Martin would have been mostly good for the rocket industry. It would have quickly given Lockheed Martin the skills to make rockets, and kept Aerojet Rocketdyne alive, albeit as part of another company. Now the latter faces extinction, and the former will need more time to develop the capabilities required in its recently-won NASA contract to launch a rocket from Mars to return samples.

And once again, the FTC lawsuit indicates that the Biden administration has decided to take a heavy-regulatory hand when it comes to business. The result however of this approach in this case has not produced more competition, but the likely bankruptcy of at least one company.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

10 comments

  • Gary

    Bob,

    Do you think this would impact Lockheed Martin’s ability to deliver on the recently announced Mars return rocket? Were they buying Aerojet Rocketdyne to get the expertise in engine building which they (Lockheed) lacked?

  • Gary: Read my post again. I clearly indicated that I do think it will have an impact.

  • wayne

    It’s been a long road for Aerojet-Rocketdyne.
    (the period 1990 to present feels a bit chaotic)
    https://www.zippia.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-careers-269/history/

  • Gary

    Bob,

    Pardon my inattention. Clearly, you did address. I should just read to the end!

    Thanks

  • Doubting Thomas

    Although not a big fan of LM. It seems grossly unfair to allow Northrop Grumman to gobble up ATK-Orbital but then prevent LM from acquiring AJ-R.

    As pointed out, while there are an emerging number of small companies building launch vehicles with their own internally developed engines, if AJ-R goes under this seriously hurts the defense side of rocket motor use, especially solids and some unique air breathing applications.

  • Col Beausabre

    “The result however of this approach in this case has not produced more competition, but the likely bankruptcy of at least one company.”

    Which of course is their intention. Don’t you get it? The capitalists who own AJR and LM are the enemy! We must destroy them and their wealth so all are equally poor and miserable, that is the Left’s program. That’s what they mean by equality and ‘”equiy”

  • Alton

    Or could it be as simple as family connections?

    Back in the 70s (college), I dated a daughter of the Northrup Family, did not know who she was until I met her parents one weekend. The family was tight with the DuPont Clan of Delaware….. (who also sent generation after generation to the same college)……..so could it be just that easy ????

    Interesting,. According to Spock ???

  • “We must destroy them and their “wealth so all are equally poor and miserable, that is the Left’s program.”

    Maybe time to light some candles, rather than curse the darkness.

  • Blair, the Climate Change Cult is working to make lighting candles the only option, where we used electricity before. They should support your suggestion … but I don’t think they will approve of your candles.

    But while we are lighting them, let us also emulate the “fluidity” of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, and “find a way” (many ways) to work around our hubris-soaked elites as their hubris leads them to be overtaken by events and fail … being ready to render them irrelevant to our lives when the opportunities to do so arise.

  • Dan L

    The discussions that I keep hearing about this merger/non-merger are centered around space flight rocketry. However, military defense rockets and motors are probably driving the FTC decision making. AJR makes all kinds of motors for defense applications, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles, and ballistic missiles (sea and land based). Pretty much all defense contractors purchase their motors from AJR. Giving control of these products to a major defense contractor (Lockheed) will create a monopoly and drive up costs for the remaining buyers. In the end, the potential cost increases will be shouldered by the government and ultimately by the taxpayers.

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