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PRATT & WHITNEY'S RL10 ROCKET ENGINE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THIRD MISSION FOR ATLAS II VEHICLE

 PRATT & WHITNEY'S RL10 ROCKET ENGINE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES
 THIRD MISSION FOR ATLAS II VEHICLE
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's successful launch of a General Dynamics Atlas II rocket marks its third mission using Pratt & Whitney's (P&W's) RL10 rocket engine. It is also the RL10's 312th in-space firing.
 Two RL10A-3-3A rocket engines designed, developed and manufactured at P&W's West Palm Beach facility powered the Centaur upper-stage vehicle, which boosted a U.S. Air Force Defense Satellite Communications Systems (DSCS) III into geo-transfer orbit. The two engines produce a total of 33,000 pounds of thrust.
 The space vehicle was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by an Air Force/General Dynamics' launch team. This is the fourth launch this year for the RL10 and the second launch in the U.S. Air Force's Medium Launch Vehicle II program.
 "RL10 derivatives are being studied for future programs, such as lunar lander propulsion," said James Brown, manager of P&W's RL10 program.
 NASA is currently considering new manned missions to the Moon beginning around the year 2000. To accommodate such missions, the lunar lander propulsion system must be capable of a range of thrusts, enabling it to throttle down to 20 percent of its full thrust level. P&W and NASA are working together to fully utilize the broad throttling experience gained from the RL10.
 RL10, the world's first liquid hydrogen-fueled rocket engine, was developed by P&W for NASA. The engine became operational aboard the Centaur rocket in the mid-1960s. To date, 190 RL10s have helped launch an array of the nation's most sophisticated communications satellites and unmanned spacecraft to explore the outer reaches of the solar system.
 Pratt & Whitney's Government Engines & Space Propulsion (GESP) unit designs, develops and supports space propulsion systems and military jet engines. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, GESP includes Chemical Systems Division of San Jose, Calif., and USBI Inc. with facilities in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Pratt & Whitney is a unit of United Technologies Corporation based in Hartford, Conn.
 -0- 7/2/92
 /CONTACT: Patrick Louden of Pratt & Whitney, 407-796-6793/ CO: Pratt & Whitney ST: Florida IN: ARO SU:


AW-JJ -- FL015 -- 6383 07/02/92 18:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1992
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