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Pre-Launch image

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers Atlas V Upper Stage, Placing Critical Government Satellite into Orbit

Thursday, September 13, 2012

[Video Credit: SpaceVidsNet, via YouTube]

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and RD AMROSS successfully propelled a critical U.S. government satellite into orbit on Sept. 13, once again demonstrating the consistency and reliability of their rocket launch propulsion systems. The spacecraft launched from Vandenberg Air Force Station in California on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine, and the upper-stage 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 fueled by a kerosene/liquid oxygen mixture, provides an environmentally-clean operation, and uses an extremely efficient, high-pressured staged combustion cycle. The high-pressure helium storage tanks on the Atlas V booster and upper stage were manufactured by ARDE, Inc., located in Carlstadt, N.J., a division of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

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

Click here to view the United Launch Alliance press release. (Page includes a photo gallery.)