Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Engines Power the Rocket Boosting the Latest Communications Satellite for U.S. Department of Defense
CANOGA PARK, Calif., Thursday, January 19, 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. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
"This launch was another impressive demonstration of the RS-68 booster engine in action, with more than 700,000 pounds of thrust boosting this vehicle and its important military payload into space," said Dan Adamski, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
"The RL10B-2 engine once again delivered dependable 100 percent mission success and reliability. The RL10 team is proud to enable the deployment of this vital communications satellite for U.S. military forces," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "These two engines are a winning combination in consistency for our customers, and we look forward to working together on future missions."
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.
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 engines for launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Behind its successful designs, manufacturing processes, and hardware are Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s research and development engineers, who solve tough problems in extreme environments.
About Pratt & Whitney
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 building industries.