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Development and design company won massive contract to develop and design new rocket engines

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. today announced it has won a $1.2 billion NASA contract for the design development of rocket engines for the next generation of spacecrafts. NASA awarded the funds Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to develop and test a J-2X engine that will power the upper stages of the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles.
 
"We are very proud to have been selected by NASA to power the return of U.S. astronauts to the moon and beyond,” said Stephen Finger, president, Pratt & Whitney. “This contract award is another important milestone in the partnership between Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NASA, which spans more than half a century.”

The two vehicles are part of the Orion program to send astronauts and cargo back to the moon before the year 2020.  The program builds upon the legacy of the Apollo-Saturn Program.  Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen powers the J-2X, which provides 294,000 pounds of thrust to power the Ares vehicles.

“The J-2X builds on our knowledge and experience with the proven J-2 and J-2S engines, while simultaneously integrating state-of-the-art technology in order to give NASA a powerful, cost-effective, reliable engine,” said Jim Maser, president, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

The newly formed contract includes ground and flight-testing and extends through December 31, 2012.


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RE: What's the Challenge?
By imaheadcase on 7/19/2007 1:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
Because of government squabbling about space program in general.

Fact is most space based projects have nothing to do with science anymore and all about putting satellites up and researching weapons.

But thats the nature of the beast, most revolutionary space/science inventions we use was first used to kill someone faster/cheaper in some way or the other (Plastic anyone?).

Governments are not really sure "what" space is for, they throw billions/trillions of dollars into satellites/useless space stations, when a VERY small % of that is actual space exploration.

How do they expect to go to other planets someday when they are still thinking about Earth in development of space based objects?


RE: What's the Challenge?
By probedb on 7/19/2007 5:31:42 AM , Rating: 1
Too true. Everyone complains about overpopulation etc...maybe they should think about exploring places for us to settle?


RE: What's the Challenge?
By noxipoo on 7/19/2007 11:18:00 AM , Rating: 1
plastics was for war? wikipedia failed me, what's the history on that?


RE: What's the Challenge?
By Boottothehead on 7/19/2007 3:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
The major launching platform for evryday plastics was WWII. Companies were looking for ways to save raw materials to fuel the war effort and plastics provided a handy answer. This was the real advent of plastic utensils, cups, bowls, car parts etc... Anywhere metal or wood or glass could be replaced by plastics, it pretty much was. Prior to that people viewed plastic products as a novelty.


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