Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Helps Boost Satellite to Study Atmosphere and Sea-Surface Temperatures

By SpaceRef Editor
October 28, 2011
Filed under , ,
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Helps Boost Satellite to Study Atmosphere and Sea-Surface Temperatures

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne demonstrated its continued support of NASA and the scientific community by successfully boosting the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP), which will be used to collect data on atmospheric and sea-surface temperatures. The mission launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX – News) company, has powered 13 successful launches this year with payloads that included humans; cargo; and satellites vital to space exploration, worldwide communication, navigation, defense, research and development, and weather prediction.

“The RS-27A powered the satellite into space with the same precision and reliability this family of engines is known for,” said Elizabeth Jones, RS-27A program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “We have enjoyed a long relationship with NASA, and look forward to working together on future missions that further enhance our understanding of life on Earth.”

The RS-27A and its predecessor, the RS-27, are liquid-oxygen/kerosene engine systems that have flown 237 times, cumulatively without failure, since the first flight in 1974. The engine continues Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s legacy of building numerous, reliable liquid-oxygen/kerosene propulsion systems, including the Saturn program’s F-1 and H1 engines; the Atlas MA-3, MA-5 and MA-5A engines; and the predecessor to the RS-27, the Thor MB-3 engine.

The NPP satellite contains five sensors that will measure cloud, vegetation and ice cover, ocean color, and sea and land surface temperatures. Scientists will use the data to better understand climate changes and predict severe weather. The five instruments are the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS); the Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES); the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS); and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS).

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. Behind its successful designs, manufacturing processes, and hardware are Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s research and development engineers, who solve tough problems in extreme environments and high-energy density applications. 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.