Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Launches Spacecraft for U.S. Government

By SpaceRef Editor
April 15, 2011
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Launches Spacecraft for U.S. Government

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne today demonstrated its continued support of national security by helping to boost into orbit a spacecraft for the U.S. government. The mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California 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) company. RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.

“Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is proud to provide the power and propulsion for such an important mission,” said Jim Maus, director, expendable propulsion programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “With nearly a half-century 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 United Launch Alliance on another successful launch,” said Tom Wonnell, president and CEO of RD AMROSS. “We look forward to working together to ensure future successful missions.”

The Atlas V Centaur upper stage is powered by a single RL10A4-2 engine that delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust. The Atlas V Common Core booster is powered by the RD-180 engine and delivers nearly 1 million pounds of thrust. The RD-180 is the only liquid oxygen-kerosene fueled engine with an oxygen-rich staged-combustion cycle flying in the United States today.

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.