Pratt & Whitney rocket engine passes major milestone

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Published: April 27,2011

Tags: aerospace, manufacturing, rocket, space travel

HANCOCK COUNTY — Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed the design certification review for the upgraded RS-68A engine configuration, demonstrating the hydrogen-fueled engine has met all requirements to power heavy-lift vehicles into space.

The Engine System Design Certification Review, conducted March 31-April 1 by the customer and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, evaluated the RS-68A engine configuration against detailed requirements and specifications. It was the culmination of a series of reviews that assessed the engine at the component, subsystem and system level, and confirmed compliance with requirements through analysis, test and hardware inspections of development engine 14001 and certification engines 30001 and 30002.

The first three RS-68A flight engines – 30003, 30004 and 30005 — have successfully completed acceptance testing. Engine 30003 has already been integrated onto a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala. Integration activities for engine 30004 have been initiated, and the third engine, 30005, has successfully completed its processing at Stennis Space Center and is awaiting shipment to Decatur in May.

The three engines are scheduled to boost a future Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle into orbit carrying a government payload.

Source: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

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