Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Powers Launch of U.S. Military’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

By SpaceRef Editor
April 26, 2010
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne today helped boost into orbit the U.S. military’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. 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 RL10 upper-stage engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.

“Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is pleased to provide power for the U.S. Air Force’s launch of its X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. This launch continues our proud history of supporting the U.S. military,” said Jim Maus, director, expendable propulsion programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “This third launch of the RL10 in 2010 is the 408th production model RL10 to fly, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with United Launch Alliance in this coming decade.”

“RD AMROSS and its partners — NPO Energomash and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne — congratulate the U.S. Air Force on this successful launch,” said Len Dest, president and CEO of RD AMROSS.

The Atlas V Centaur upper stage is powered by a single RL10A-4-2 engine that delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust. For over 46 years, the RL10 has been one of the United States’ most reliable upper-stage engines. The Atlas V Common Core booster is powered by the RD-180 engine delivering 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, 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.