Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's Space Shuttle Main Engines Help Unite Countries in Space


CANOGA PARK, Calif., Oct. 23 / - Three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Space Shuttle Main Engines powered the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA's Kennedy Space Center today on Mission STS-120 to the International Space Station. STS-120 is the 23rd mission to the International Space Station (ISS) delivering the Harmony module which will enable the Japanese and European laboratories to be brought up and installed during future shuttle missions. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. company and has provided the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) since the first shuttle mission in 1981. The SSME is the world's only fully reusable high-performance rocket engine.

The Harmony module, also known as Node 2, is similar to the six-sided Unity Module that links the U.S. and Russian sectors of the station, providing a hallway that enables astronauts and cosmonauts to work side-by-side. Harmony will provide attachment points for future Japanese and European laboratory modules, allowing astronauts from those countries to join their Russian and U.S. counterparts, and bringing the space station one step closer to being a truly international space laboratory.

"We are proud to be part of this incredible endeavor to unite countries across the globe in the peaceful mission of space exploration and scientific progress," said Jim Paulsen, program manager for the SSME. "We all share the same goal: to successfully launch humans longer and farther into space, and to bring them home safely."

The launch comes on the heels of NASA awarding Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne more than $2 billion in contracts to design and develop the J-2X engine for the Ares vehicles and continue maintaining the fleet of Space Shuttle Main Engines.

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 building industries.

Source: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

CONTACT: Bryan Kidder, +1-818-586-2213, bryan.kidder@pwr.utc.com, or Erin Dick, +1-818-586-4977, erin.dick@pwr.utc.com, both of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Web site: www.pratt-whitney.com

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