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Three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 Rocket Engines Boost Classified Spy Satellite


CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, contributed to the nation’s security by boosting a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 17. The satellite was onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, powered by three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 engines and one upper-stage RL10B-2 engine. It was the second operational mission for a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. This was the 716th launch of a Delta vehicle under Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s power. The first Delta IV was launched in 2002.

“We’re proud to be part of a mission that will ensure the safety and security of our nation,” said Craig Stoker, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “This was a critical payload and as always, our goal is 100 percent mission success.”

The upper-stage RL10B-2 helped place the satellite into orbit. “This engine has over 40 years of flight performance with the highest reliability of any cryogenic upper-stage engine in the world,” said Jeff Flenniken, RL10B-2 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “It’s an honor knowing that reliability is the preferred choice in our nation’s security"

The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office is responsible for operating overhead reconnaissance missions for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.


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