Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Demonstrates First RS-68A Production Engine is Ready for Flight
CANOGA PARK, Calif., Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed a series of Hardware Acceptance Reviews on the first RS-68A production rocket engine, validating the world's most powerful hydrogen-fueled engine is ready to power a heavy-lift vehicle into space in support of national security. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
"RS-68A engine 30003 has demonstrated all the requirements for flight over a wide range of operating conditions," said Dan Adamski, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "We look forward to working with our customers to ensure the RS-68A engines powering the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle are successful in delivering their important payload into orbit."
Engine 30003, the first of three RS-68A production engines to undergo a Hardware Acceptance Review, has been shipped to Decatur, Ala., for integration onto a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. RS-68A production engines 30004 and 30005 will undergo Hardware Acceptance Reviews in March and April 2011, respectively, after completion of their hot-fire testing at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. These engines will then be installed onto the launch vehicle. The three engines are scheduled to boost the Delta IV Heavy next year carrying a government payload into orbit. The RS-68A Hardware Acceptance Reviews, conducted by the customer and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, evaluate the engine's compliance with detailed specifications, design, manufacture, checkout, test reliability and quality assurance, qualification and acceptance testing to determine the engines are ready for flight.
The RS-68A is an upgrade of the RS-68 engine, and is a liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine designed to provide increased thrust and improved fuel efficiency for the Delta IV family of launch vehicles. Each RS-68A will provide 705,000 pounds of lift-off thrust, or 42,000 more pounds of thrust than a basic RS-68 engine.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Stennis Space Center, Miss. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.