CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne celebrated 50 years of powering Delta-family rockets into orbit with the successful launch of the first NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIF military navigation satellite on May 27. The mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's RS-68 and RL10 engines providing booster and upper-stage propulsion, respectively. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
"From the first Echo 1 satellite 50 years ago, to the first GPS Block IIF satellite today, we are proud to have been part of the Delta-family's heritage in boosting satellites so vital to worldwide communication, navigation, research and weather prediction, as well as our own national security," said Craig Stoker, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "We look forward to working with United Launch Alliance over the next 50 years of powering rockets into space."
"Our company is proud to have been able to provide reliable propulsion for this important mission," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "By successfully boosting the GPS satellite, our engines played a significant role in increasing communications capabilities worldwide."
The Block IIF is the first in a series of 12 new GPS satellites designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. Block IIF features more capability and improved mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal for better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas. In August 1960, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne helped launch a Delta rocket carrying Echo 1, which was used to redirect transcontinental and intercontinental telephone, radio and television signals.
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. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.
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.
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