Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Powers 200th Mission of Centaur Rocket, Places Communications Satellite for U.S. Navy into Orbit
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Saturday, February 25, 2012
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.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, has a strong proven history of successfully powering launches with payloads that include humans; cargo; and satellites vital to space exploration, worldwide communication, navigation, defense, research and development, and weather prediction. RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.
"You often hear the term 'workhorse' applied to the RL10, and it really is the case," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "To date, the RL10 has accumulated one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments in the history of space propulsion. Its reliability is the reason it has been the upper-stage engine of choice for so many years, and we look forward to continuing to work with our customers on future missions."
"The RD-180 packs a powerful punch with nearly 1 million pounds of thrust, and to watch it boost the Atlas V rocket, delivering such an important payload into space in support of U.S. troops and allied forces, makes everyone proud," said Bill Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS.
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.
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.