Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Helps Boost Satellite Monitoring Severe Weather Into Space

CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines helped boost the second in a series of NASA/NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, designated GOES-O, into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., yesterday, to help scientists monitor severe weather that leads to tornadoes, flashfloods and hurricanes. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX - News) company, powered a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket with a RS-68 engine and an upper stage RL10B-2 engine. This was the 722nd launch of a Delta vehicle using Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's engine power.
GOES-O was developed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is equipped with an advanced attitude control system that provides enhanced image resolution and navigation to better locate severe storms and other weather conditions. GOES-O is the second spacecraft to be launched in the GOES-N-P series of geostationary environmental weather satellites, which orbit at the same speed as the Earth's rotation. Being geostationary allows the GOES to stay above a fixed point 22,300 miles above the Earth's surface and provides constant monitoring of atmospheric conditions that can trigger tornadoes, flash floods and hurricanes.
"An early warning system is absolutely critical when dealing with unpredictable weather patterns that can impact so many people," said Craig Stoker, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is assisting in the process of providing improved tracking and predictive capabilities associated with atmospheric conditions that can trigger severe weather conditions."
The upper-stage RL10B-2 helped place the satellite into orbit. "When you are dealing with severe weather such as tornadoes, flashfloods and hurricanes, you need a reliable system that can identify the weather systems early," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "We are proud to provide the upper stage propulsion enabling the placement of this satellite into orbit."
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NASA/NOAA Weather Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- United Launch Alliance, on behalf of Boeing Launch Services, successfully launched the second of three next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The satellite, designated GOES-O, was launched aboard a Delta IV expendable launch vehicle from Space Launch Complex-37, Saturday, at 6:51 p.m., EDT. The first GOES satellite in the series, designated GOES-N, was launched here on May 24, 2006. This was the 8th ULA launch of 2009.
Following a nominal four hour, 21-minute flight, the Delta IV deployed the spacecraft. The multi-mission GOES series of satellites will provide NOAA and NASA scientists with data to support weather, solar and space operations, and will enable future science improvements in weather prediction and remote sensing. Additionally, GOES-O will provide data on global climate changes and capability for search and rescue.
"ULA congratulates Boeing and its NASA and NOAA customers for the successful launch of GOES-O, which will improve weather forecasting across the globe," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Delta Product Line. "Millions of people a year are adversely affected by weather ranging from localized thunderstorms to tornados and hurricanes. GOES-O will significantly improve the data collection scientists need to learn more about our planet's weather and will better prepare people all over the world for significant weather events."
The Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration launch vehicle used a single common booster core with a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, two Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors, a PWR RL10B-2 upper stage engine and a four-meter diameter upper stage and composite payload fairing. The GOES-O launch marked the fourth flight of the Delta IV medium+ (4,2) configuration and the 10th flight of the Delta IV family of launch vehicles.
ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for no earlier than Aug. 12, is the PAN mission for the Department of Defense aboard an Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-41 at CCAFS.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Denver, Colo.; Decatur, Ala.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Website at, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).