Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Launches Juno Spacecraft on Mission to Study Planet Jupiter

By SpaceRef Editor
August 5, 2011
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Launches Juno Spacecraft on Mission to Study Planet Jupiter

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne demonstrated its continued support of NASA by successfully boosting the Juno spacecraft on its mission to study planet Jupiter. The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine and the Centaur upper stage is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10 engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX – News) company. RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.

“Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is honored to provide NASA with the propulsion required to launch this important satellite on its deep-space mission to study the planet,” said Jim Maus, director, hypersonic and expendable propulsion programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “With nearly 50 years of flight, the RL10 continues to prove itself as the nation’s most reliable upper-stage engine. We’re pleased to see it continue that legacy.”

“RD AMROSS congratulates NASA and the United Launch Alliance on another successful launch,” said William Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS. “We look forward to working together on future missions.”

The five-year mission to Jupiter is designed to give scientists a better understanding of our solar system by revealing the origin and evolution of the planet. Juno will orbit Jupiter for about one year, studying its atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties. The spacecraft will also map the planet’s magnetic and gravity fields, and explore its poles to gain insight into the planet’s enormous magnetic force field on its atmosphere.

In addition to manufacturing the RD-180 and the RL10, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is also developing the J-2X engine to power NASA’s next era of human spaceflight. The engine is being tested under a development contract awarded by NASA and is designed to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle in anticipation of NASA’s next era of human spaceflight.

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. 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.