Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers Atlas V Upper Stage, Placing Critical Government Satellite into Orbit

Sep 13, 2012, 21:30 ET from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

CANOGA PARK, Calif., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and RD AMROSS successfully propelled a critical U.S. government satellite into orbit, once again demonstrating the consistency and reliability of their rocket launch propulsion systems.  The spacecraft launched from Vandenberg Air Force Station in California on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.  The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine, and the upper-stage is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10 engine.  RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

"The RL10 team's unwavering commitment to ensuring our customers receive the most reliable products is critical to our national security as demonstrated by powering the upper stage in this third of three U.S. government launches in just six weeks," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "The team can take great pride in knowing that what they do every day makes a difference."

"The RD-180 boosted the payload with the power and reliable performance we've come to expect from the engine, and we're all proud to be part of such an important mission," said Bill Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS.  "

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 fueled by a kerosene/liquid oxygen mixture, provides an environmentally-clean operation, and uses an extremely efficient, high-pressured staged combustion cycle.  The high-pressure helium storage tanks on the Atlas V booster and upper stage were manufactured by ARDE, Inc., located in Carlstadt, N.J., a division of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

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 engines for launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.  Behind its successful designs, manufacturing processes, and hardware are Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's research and development engineers, who solve tough problems in extreme environments. For more information, go to  Follow us at and

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.

SOURCE Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne