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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s Space Shuttle Main Engines Boost Solar Panels to Enable Expanded Space Station Crew


CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) successfully boosted the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station onboard Space Shuttle Discovery today. The successful mission increases the station’s electrical power capacity and allows for the expansion of the station’s crew from three to six crew members. Discovery launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Mission STS-119 – the 28th mission to the space station. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

“The SSMEs’ outstanding performance is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and their commitment to the success of this program as we continue to play a leading role in the future of space exploration,” said Jim Paulsen, SSME program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “We’re proud to support NASA and its international partners.”

Using the space station’s robotic arm, astronauts will install the solar panel arrays to complete the solar electricity capabilities of the station. The entire set of arrays will generate approximately 80 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 30 average-sized homes. The arrays are part of a larger electrical distribution system designed and built by United Technologies Corp.’s Hamilton Sundstrand Rocketdyne division.


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