Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Demonstrates Rocket Stability Control with Peacekeeper Hardware

By SpaceRef Editor
October 29, 2009
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Demonstrates Rocket Stability Control with Peacekeeper Hardware
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully demonstrated its ability to provide rocket stability using heritage U.S. Air Force Peacekeeper missile system hardware during NASA’s first Ares l-X test flight today from Kennedy Space Center. The Ares l-X successfully rolled 90 degrees to mimic the orientation that the Ares I rocket will use, and is another step forward in Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s cooperative effort with NASA to develop the propulsion system for the next-generation of manned spaceflight. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

“The heritage hardware kept the test vehicle on a proper trajectory, demonstrating its ability to provide stability during flight,” said Cy Bruno, Roll Control System (RoCS) program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “It’s rewarding to know our heritage hardware is helping provide NASA an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations in preparation for the nation’s return to the moon and journey to Mars and beyond.”

Under an agreement with Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc., Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne helped design the RoCS and used hardware from the decommissioned Peacekeeper missile program to provide rocket stability during NASA’s first Ares l-X test flight. The heritage hardware included propellant tanks, a pressurization system and two thrusters that fired alongside the test rocket in short pulses to control the vehicle’s roll. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne had built the hardware for the Peacekeeper missile system’s fourth stage during the Cold War.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., 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 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.