Thruster Tests Completed for Boeing’s CST-100 Vehicle

A Boeing CST-100 crew module docks at a Bigelow Aerospace space station. (Credit: Boeing)

CANOGA PARK, Calif. (NASA PR) — Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne has successfully completed a series of tests on a thruster destined for Boeing’s Commercial Space Transportation spacecraft, designated CST-100.

Boeing is one of several companies working to develop crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The goal of the program is to help spur innovation and development of safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and launch vehicles capable of transporting astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.
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X-51A Waverider Takes First Captive Flight

X-51 Waverider
X-51 Waverider

PRATT & WHITNEY ROCKETDYNE PRESS RELEASE

The U.S. Air Force X-51A WaveRider vehicle yesterday successfully made its first captive carry flight under the wing of a B-52 carry aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The X-51A is powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

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Pratt & Whitney Opens Research Facility at UA Huntsville

pratt_whitney

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne celebrated the opening of the new PoWeR Innovations Research facility on the campus of University of Alabama in Huntsville, Ala, on Dec. 9. The facility is part of a collaborative effort designed to develop new technologies and business strategies for both the company and the university. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Tests Miniaturized Thrusters for Robot Lunar Landers

pratt_whitney

PRATT & WHITNEY ROCKETDYNE PRESS RELEASE

Using technology developed for the nation’s ballistic missile defense system, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed hot-fire thruster tests demonstrating the ability of miniaturized thrusters to perform the descent and landing operation for a new generation of multi-use robotic lunar landers.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. company.

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Pratt & Whitney Working with Lockheed on Falcon Mach 6 Ramjet

Falcon hypersonic technology vehicle (HTV)
Falcon hypersonic technology vehicle (HTV)

PRATT & WHITNEY ROCKETDYNE PRESS RELEASE

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has been awarded a 10-month contract by Lockheed Martin for preliminary design of the high speed accelerator for a turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) propulsion system, which could support flight up to Mach 6. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

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PWR: We Could Build Expendable SSME Quickly

ssme

PWR Offers Shuttle Engine Alternative
Aviation Week

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) says it could rapidly stand up an expendable space shuttle main engine (SSME) if the Obama administration decides to use a shuttle-derived throwaway heavy lifter as an alternative to the Ares I crew launch vehicle.

The company has told a White House panel reviewing human spaceflight options that it could have a sufficient number of SSMEs ready within a year using a combination of leftovers from the shuttle program and newly-built engines. It has also proposed developing a modified, lower-cost SSME as a follow-on, PWR President Jim Maser said July 14 at a Space Foundation roundtable in Washington.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Tests Mach 4 Ramjet

PRESS RELEASE

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s PWR-9221FJ dual-mode ramjet engine successfully completed its first ground test at Mach 4 flight conditions at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, Tenn. A dual-mode ramjet engine is a key technology for developing reusable hypersonic vehicles. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

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Boeing Exec: 10K Layoffs Possible

Boeing’s Shaw Warns Of Space Job Cuts
Aviation Week

The ‘big five’ US space companies could lose up to 10,000 jobs over the next few years unless the government accelerates procurement of first elements of the Constellation family’s Ares V and Altair programs, warns Boeing’s Space Exploration division head Brewster Shaw.

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UTC to Shed Nearly 12,000 Jobs in 2009

United Technologies To Lay Off Nearly 12,000 Workers
Aero-News.Net

The conglomerate that owns such notable aerospace companies as Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne and Hamilton Sundstrand will cut 5 percent of its global workforce this year, the latest victim of a staggeringly awful global economy.

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Rocketdyne Successfully Tests Altair Lunar Engine

PRESS RELEASE

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine (CECE) has successfully demonstrated critical capabilities required for NASA’s Altair lunar lander. The engine performed with stable operation at the widest throttle range of any known high performance cryogenic engine in December during its third series of ground tests at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla., test facility. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

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Hypersonic Travel Moves Closer to Reality

X-51A Scramjet Engine Completes Ground Tests
Aviation Week

A year from now, over the Pacific Ocean off California in airspace cleared of all civilian traffic, hypersonics could take a step closer to reality. In the same skies where five years earlier the X-43A Hyper-X flew for 10 sec. at Mach 9.6, powered by a supersonic-combustion ramjet, the X-51A WaveRider is planned to fly on scramjet power for 5 min., accelerating from Mach 4.7 to beyond Mach 6 and demonstrating that sustained hypersonic flight is practical.

Boeing’s X-51A and its Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) scramjet can trace their roots back 20 years to the X-30 National AeroSpace Plane, an overambitious and unsuccessful attempt to build a Mach 30 single-stage-to-orbit technology demonstrator. The X-51A’s goals are far more modest, but it could lead directly to development of a hypersonic long-range strike missile. It would also be a step closer to an eventual air-breathing space access vehicle.