Configuration Meets All Designated Requirements For Flight
Design Certification Review for the upgraded RS-68A engine
configuration, demonstrating the hydrogen-fueled engine has met all
requirements to power heavy-lift vehicles into space, has been
successfully completed by manufacturer Pratt & Whitney
"This is a stamp of approval for the RS-68A engine and major
milestone for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, our United Launch
Alliance customer and, most importantly, the nation," said Dan
Adamski, RS-68 program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
"The hard work and determination that everyone dedicated to the
RS-68A program over the years brings a new large, liquid
hydrogen-fueled engine to market – one capable of lifting
heavy payloads into orbit and possibly beyond."
The Engine System Design Certification Review, conducted on
March 31 and April 1 by ULA and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne,
evaluated the RS-68A engine configuration against detailed
requirements and specifications. It was the culmination of a series
of reviews that assessed the engine at the component, subsystem and
system level, and confirmed compliance with requirements through
analysis, test and hardware inspections of development engine 14001
and certification engines 30001 and 30002.
The first three RS-68A flight engines – 30003, 30004 and
30005 -- have successfully completed acceptance testing. Engine
30003 has already been integrated onto a United Launch Alliance
Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle in Decatur, AL. Integration
activities for engine 30004 have been initiated, and the third
engine, 30005, has successfully completed its processing at Stennis
Space Center in Mississippi and is awaiting shipment to Decatur in
May. The three engines are scheduled to boost a future Delta IV
Heavy launch vehicle into orbit carrying a government payload.
The RS-68A, an upgrade of the RS-68 engine, is a
liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine designed to provide
increased thrust and improved fuel efficiency for the Delta IV
family of launch vehicles. Each RS-68A will provide 702,000 pounds
of lift-off thrust, or 39,000 more pounds of thrust than a basic
RS-68 engine, with increased combustion efficiency as well.