Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Engines Power the Rocket Boosting the Latest Communications Satellite for U.S. Department of Defense
Friday, January 20, 2012
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne demonstrated the consistent reliability of its propulsion systems by successfully boosting the fourth in a series of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites to increase communications capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense. The mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 and RL10B-2 engines providing the booster and upper-stage propulsion, respectively.
The WGS satellites are part of a larger system that increases military communications capabilities for U.S. and alliance forces deployed worldwide. They help support the exchange of information, execution of tactical command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The RS-68 is the world's largest hydrogen-fueled engine, designed for heavy lift with 758,000 pounds of vacuum thrust and 663,000 pounds of sea-level thrust. The RL10B-2 is a unique cryogenic upper-stage engine that provides 465 seconds of specific impulse and 24,750 pounds of thrust.