Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Completes Hot-Fire Test Series on Second RS-68A Certification Engine

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2010
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on the second and final RS-68A certification test engine, paving the way for its use in powering heavy-lift launch vehicles into space. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX – News) company.

The RS-68A is an upgrade of the RS-68 engine, and is a liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine designed to provide increased thrust and improved fuel efficiency for the Delta IV family of launch vehicles. Like the RS-68, RS-68A engines will be used to boost the Delta IV rocket, but each RS-68A engine will provide 705,000 pounds of lift-off thrust, or 42,000 more pounds of thrust than a basic RS-68 engine. This test series was designed to demonstrate operation of the RS-68A engine over a wide-range of operating conditions that will help verify compliance with customer requirements.

“The second RS-68A certification engine E30102 was successfully hot-fire tested for more than 2,900 seconds over a series of 12 tests,” said Jim Tibble, RS-68A engine development project manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “The team has done an amazing job in completing a challenging development and certification test program, and will now proceed through a series of design audits culminating in the Design Certification Review planned for the first quarter of 2011.”

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. 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.