WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., 27 Feb. 2012. Propulsion systems from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, powered the Centaur upper-stage rocket on its two-hundredth mission: placing the first in a series of U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellites into orbit.
The payload launched onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket powered by the RD-180 booster engine delivering nearly 1 million pounds of thrust from RD AMROSS LLC, a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash. A single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10A4-2 engine delivering 22,300 pounds of thrust powered the Atlas V Centaur upper stage.
The RD-180 is the only liquid oxygen/kerosene fueled engine with an oxygen-rich staged-combustion cycle flying in the United States today.
"To date, the RL10 has accumulated one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments in the history of space propulsion,” says Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
"The RD-180 packs a powerful punch with nearly 1 million pounds of thrust, and to watch it boost the Atlas V rocket, delivering such an important payload into space in support of U.S. troops and allied forces, makes everyone proud," explains Bill Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS.