Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Again Demonstrates its Large-Payload Lift Capability by Boosting Latest Navigation Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
July 18, 2011
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne again demonstrated its large payload lift capabilities by successfully boosting the second GPS- IIF2 navigation satellite for the U.S. government launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force station, Fla. The satellite was onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 booster engine and an RL10B-2 upper-stage engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX – News) company.

“The RS-68 engine was flawless in its execution, providing the necessary power and thrust to boost this important government payload into space,” said Dan Adamski, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “We congratulate our United Launch Alliance customer on another successful launch of the Delta IV Medium, and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, said, “The RL10B-2 upper-stage engine continues to demonstrate its reliability placing satellites into orbit. Powering the upper stage of launch vehicles for the past 50 years, the RL10 has placed 191 satellites into their desired orbits.”

GPS-IIF2 is the second in a series of 12 new GPS satellites designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. It features more capability and improve mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal for better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas.

The RS-68 is a 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 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 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.; Stennis Space Center, Miss; and Carlstadt, N.J. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.