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STS-47 ENDEAVOUR MISSION MARKS SHUTTLE'S 50TH LAUNCH, 150TH FLIGHT OF ROCKETDYNE'S SSME

 STS-47 ENDEAVOUR MISSION MARKS SHUTTLE'S 50TH LAUNCH,
 150TH FLIGHT OF ROCKETDYNE'S SSME
 CANOGA PARK, Calif., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- When Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this morning, it marked not only the 50th shuttle launch but the 150th flight of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), the most sophisticated liquid rocket engine ever developed.
 "This launch meant a great deal to the men and women on the Space Shuttle Main Engine program whose attention to detail has resulted in a highly reliable flight program backed by over 500,000 seconds of ground testing," said Robert D. Paster, president of the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International Corp. (NYSE: ROK).
 "Since the maiden flight of Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981, the SSMEs have powered the shuttles into orbit to perform a number of important scientific missions. During the rest of this decade, we look forward to seeing the SSME used to extend that research and to establish a permanently manned space station in orbit around the earth," Paster said.
 Developed under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., the SSME is a staged combustion cycle engine which operates at extremely high pressures while attaining efficiencies previously unknown in rocket engine technology.
 Three SSMEs on the shuttle orbiter provide the majority (about 55 percent) of the total impulse required to attain orbital velocity. To date, 23 engines have flown 150 times. The SSME is unique in that the three engines used per flight are reusable with flight-to-flight maintenance and are interchangeable between orbiters.
 The maximum equivalent horsepower developed by the three SSMEs is just over 37 million horsepower. The energy released by the three engines is equivalent to the output of 23 Hoover Dams.
 "We're proud of the success we've had developing and producing a reliable and cost-effective rocket engine, one that we are continuing to improve to maximize reliability and savings for NASA," said Al Hallden, vice president and manager of Rocketdyne's SSME program.
 Examples include the certification and flight of the improved High Pressure Fuel Turbopump, called the "10,000 Second HPFTP," which extends maintenance intervals from three to nine flights. The first improved turbopump successfully flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-45 last March. There are now eleven units at KSC ready for flight.
 "In addition, the SSME program has sustained the same number of engine tests per month; produced virtually the same number of engines in the factory and supported a greater number of shuttle launches, with much fewer employees resulting in higher productivity and cost savings to the shuttle program," Hallden said.
 Rocketdyne's nearly 2,000 SSME employees are based at the division's Canoga Park headquarters, the focus for engineering and manufacturing; Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., where some testing of components and subsystems is conducted; Kennedy Space Center, Fla., where they prepare the space shuttle engines for launch; and NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) at Bay St. Louis, Miss., where engine development and flight acceptance testing is performed.
 Recently, at Stennis, the shuttle program passed another major milestone with the 2,000th hot fire of the SSME, making the SSME one of the "most hot-fired" engines in the history of America's space program.
 The ground testing at Stennis and a subsequent launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in July, brought the total amount of hot fire time accumulated to more than 530,700 seconds. This is equivalent to engine use during approximately 340 space shuttle flights.
 Besides these achievements, another high point of the program occurred in July when Astronaut John Blaha, chairman of NASA's Space Flight Safety Panel, awarded NASA's Manned Flight Awareness (MFA) Flight Safety Award to thousands of Rocketdyne employees for their dedication to high standards of quality on the SSME program.
 Commenting on the award, Astronaut Blaha said, "Rocketdyne's dedication to the safety of flight and mission success has provided the United States with remarkable access to space. The division's systematic approach to safety is evident in all phases of design, manufacturing, test, checkout, operation, and postflight analysis."
 Rockwell International Corp. is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide-range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 9/12/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Pollock, 818-710-4554, or Kristy Varnes, 18-710-3434, both of Rocketdyne/
 (ROK) CO: Rocketdyne Division; Rockwell International Corp.; National
 Aeronautics and Space Administration ST: California IN: ARO CPR SU:


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Date:Sep 12, 1992
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