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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Powers 600th Launch of an Atlas Vehicle, Continuing Historical Partnership

Tom Callaghan
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Bryan Kidder
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., October 18, 2009 – Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne today helped boost a Lockheed Martin-built meteorological satellite for the U.S. Air Force into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The satellite was aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket (AV-017) powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s RL10 upper-stage engine and the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster 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 congratulates United Launch Alliance on the historical milestone of 600 Atlas launches, and we are proud to have been part of the program since the first launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 1957,” said Jim Maus, director, expendable propulsion programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

“The AV-017 launch represents the 24th consecutive successful mission for the RD-180 engine powering an Atlas launch vehicle,” said Len Dest, president and CEO of RD AMROSS.

The Atlas V launched the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s F18 spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force. Built by Lockheed Martin, this polar-orbiting weather satellite will be used by the military for strategic and tactical weather prediction to aid the U.S. military in planning operations at sea, on land and in the air.

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

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