Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Announces Plans for Major Growth in Huntsville

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2006
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) will grow its Huntsville, Ala. site operations through new business opportunities associated with NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration. PWR is a business unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

Expansion of the Huntsville operation is part of an overall growth strategy by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to design, manufacture, assemble and test the engines needed to return the American space program to the moon. This growth initiative is in addition to providing the Space Shuttle Main Engine to NASA as the only reusable liquid-fueled rocket engine.

“I am excited about the opportunities made possible by enhancing our presence in Huntsville,” said Byron Wood, president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “We have been here for 50 years and if that says anything, it says that we take customer service seriously.” Plans are to grow the current 85-person Huntsville workforce by 200 by August 2007.

Wood has named Rick Bachtel to lead this initiative as director, exploration and Huntsville operations. In this role, Mr. Bachtel will lead the company’s existing operations at the Marshall Space Flight Center while expanding program capability for the various engines and components for civilian and military space product offerings. He will also assume responsibility for consolidating and managing the Advanced Programs organizations throughout the PWR national network of facilities.

The company also announced that a new program office is being formed to carry out all the activities associated with the development of the J-2X engine. John Vilja will be the program manager for the PWR J-2X, the liquid rocket engine chosen to power the Earth departure stage of NASA’s Ares I crew launch vehicle. The J-2X Program office will report to PWR’s California Operations in Canoga Park, Calif. The J-2X deputy program manager will be located in Huntsville, as will the deputy program manager for the RS-68 program. The RS-68 engine has been baselined by NASA for use on the main stage of Ares V cargo launch vehicle.

In addition to its Huntsville operations, PWR has facilities in Canoga Park, Calif., West Palm Beach, Fla., Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc. offers a complete line of propulsion products for launch vehicles to missile defense to advanced hypersonic propulsion. These have been used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, and high altitude defense systems. PWR is part of Pratt & Whitney, a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies provides high-technology products and services to the aerospace and building industries.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne media relations contact:

Bryan Kidder
818 586-2213

SpaceRef staff editor.