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LAUNCH PAD
Rocketdyne Powers Atlas 5 Upper Stage, Placing New Landsat In Orbit
by Staff Writers
Canoga Park CA (SPX) Feb 11, 2013


File image: Atlas 5 launch.

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne and RD AMROSS successfully propelled the most advanced Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) spacecraft into orbit Monday for NASA and the U.S.

Geological Survey. The spacecraft was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine and a Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne RL10A-4-2 upper-stage engine. Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. company. RD AMROSS LLC is a joint venture of Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne and NPO Energomash.

"Congratulations to the entire RL10 team for successfully delivering a payload into orbit - twice in two weeks," said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne. "This successful launch demonstrates your commitment and ongoing dedication to mission success."

"The RD-180 also demonstrated its consistent reliability with yet another successful launch," said Bill Parsons, president and CEO of RD AMROSS. "We're honored to help NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey acquire what will be some of the best data and imagery available of the Earth across the globe for use in agriculture, education, business and science."

The LDCM is the eighth satellite in the Landsat program and is designed to provide continuous, uninterrupted data and imagery of the Earth's terrestrial and Polar Regions.

The information will be used for land-use planning and monitoring; support of disaster response; water-use monitoring; as well as serve NASA in the areas of climate, water and carbon cycles, ecosystems, biogeochemistry and Earth surface/interior research.

The Landsat data series began in 1972 and has the longest continuous record of changes in Earth's surface as seen from space. It is the only satellite system designed and operated to repeatedly observe the global land surface at moderate resolution. The data provides a unique resource for people who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping and global change research.

On Jan. 30, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne and RD AMROSS successfully propelled NASA's first, third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) into orbit. The mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

TDRS-K is designed to relay communications from the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and other satellites in low-Earth orbit. The entire TDRS network allows information to move back and forth between the orbiting spacecraft and ground controllers on Earth.

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