Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Powers Atlas V Upper Stage, Placing X-37B Test Vehicle into Orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
December 12, 2012
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The U.S. military’s unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle returned to orbit today on its third mission – thanks to the proven propulsion systems provided by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and RD AMROSS. The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine and a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10A4-2 upper-stage engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (UTX) company. RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.

“I am extremely proud of the tremendous efforts the RL10 team has expended for today’s launch,” said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

“Congratulations to the entire RD-180 team on today’s successful launch of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle,” said Bill Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS. “We could not be more proud of our role in successfully launching the spacecraft on such an important mission.”

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. For more information, go to Follow us at and

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.