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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 Moishe on 7/19/2007 12:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of the main problems I have with dropping any kind of space exploration for even as little as 10-20 years. The best way to experience is continual use. We can't have a long period of time where we don't go to space because in the end we will lose momentum and knowledge and the skills will get rusty. I'd rather see continual small steps than large steps separated by decades.

This is not the most critical thing on earth, but it certainly is important to risk time, effort, and money. A complacent and entirely "safe" society will shortly find itself useless and out of date.


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