The RD-180 engine
PRATT & WHITNEY FACT SHEET
Posted: February 19, 2002
The RD-180 is a total propulsion unit with hydraulics for control valve actuation and thrust vector gimbaling, pneumatics for valve actuation and system purging, and a thrust frame to distribute loads, all self contained as part of the engine. The engine, employing a LOX lead start, staged combustion cycle and LOX rich turbine drive, delivers a 10 percent performance increase over current operational U.S. booster engines and provide clean reusable operation.
Lockheed Martin selected the RD-180 engine to provide the booster propulsion for its Atlas 3 launch vehicle and its candidate for the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV).
The RD-180 is a staged combustion cycle engine that burns liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants. The two thrust chambers can gimbal +-8 degrees. The engine has a health monitoring and life prediction system. Minimized interfaces are needed with launch pad and vehicle (pneumatic and hydraulic systems self contained, electrical panels consolidated, thrust frame to simplify mechanical interface).
The engine offers environmentally clean operations with staged combustion oxidizer rich preburner, and oxidizer start and shutdown modes that eliminate coking and unburned kerosene pollution potential.
Forty to 100 percent continuous throttling provides potential for real time trajectory matching and engine checkout on the pad before launch commit.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Atlas 3B (AC-204)
Payload: EchoStar 7
Launch date: Feb. 21, 2002
Launch window: 7:13-8:14 a.m. EST (1213-1314 GMT
Launch site: SLC-36B, Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.
Satellite broadcast: Telstar 6, Trans. 22, C-band
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.
Ground track - See the trajectory the rocket will follow during its flight.
Atlas 3B vehicle data - Overview of the rocket to be used in this launch.
EchoStar 7 - Description of this direct-to-home TV broadcasting satellite.
Atlas index - A directory of our previous Atlas launch coverage.
MISSION STATUS CENTER