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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Powers 200th Mission of Centaur Rocket, Places Communications Satellite for U.S. Navy into Orbit

Monday, February 27, 2012

[Video credit: United Launch Alliance, via YouTube]

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne once again demonstrated the consistent reliability of its propulsion systems by successfully powering the Centaur upper-stage rocket on its 200th mission and placing the first in a series of Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellites for the U.S. Navy into orbit. The payload launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine, and the Centaur is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10 engine.

The Atlas V Centaur upper stage is powered by a single RL10A4-2 engine that delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust. The Atlas V Common Core booster is powered by the RD-180 engine and delivers nearly 1 million pounds of thrust. The RD-180 is the only liquid oxygen/kerosene fueled engine with an oxygen-rich staged-combustion cycle flying in the United States today.

Click here to read Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s press release.

Click here to read the United Launch Alliance press release. (Includes a photo gallery.)