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Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Announce Exclusive Partnership to Compete for NASA SLS Booster Contract

Written by: developer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 18, 2012) – Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) announced here today at the National Space Symposium a long-term partnership to compete for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) procurement. Under this agreement, Dynetics and PWR are exclusive partners with respect to use of the proven Saturn V F-1 rocket engine technology.

“The SLS booster procurement requires a team that can balance affordability, innovation and experience throughout the life cycle — from development to production and operations,” said Steve Cook, Dynetics director of space technologies. “Dynetics and PWR have formed such a team, offering a wide-ranging set of risk‑reduction activities and demonstrations that enable a superior booster solution.”

Leading the SLS team as project manager is Kimberly Doering, a 28-year aerospace veteran with 13 years’ experience at NASA, including serving as deputy program manager of the Space Shuttle program. Doering most recently served as vice president of United Space Alliance’s corporate business development and strategic planning, and vice president of Huntsville operations.

Ron Ramos, PWR’s vice president for Exploration and Missile Defense, explained the proven technology of the team. He said, “We offer a domestic booster design that takes advantage of the flight-proven Apollo-Saturn F-1, still the most powerful U.S. liquid rocket engine ever flown. PWR is the only company to have returned a Saturn-era engine, the J-2X, to production. We bring unique lessons to the Advanced Booster cost and performance trades.”

The F-1 is ideally suited to the Advanced Booster, providing an ideal combination of high thrust-to-weight and reliability in a low-cost package, according to Cook and Ramos. “The high-cost non-recurring engineering typical of engine development was accomplished during the Apollo-Saturn program, and significant risks (e.g., turbopump design and combustion stability) were eliminated, so our team can focus on booster affordability rather than technical feasibility,” Cook said.

Dynetics has demonstrated an aggressive approach to low-cost innovation on space programs, such as Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems and the FASTSAT microsatellite, and brings those lean system management methodologies to the proposed program. PWR, the original F-1 designer and producer, is the only U.S. company to develop and manufacture cryogenic engines over 200,000‑lbf thrust. They bring successes from developing the RS-68 commercially, and their approach to engine manufacturing enables affordability at low production rates.

David King, Dynetics executive vice president, said, “Our integrated team offers an ideal mix of proven leadership; successful related experience; and innovative, low-cost, commercial management practices to enable an affordable and effective engineering demonstration and risk-reduction effort.”

About Dynetics

Dynetics delivers the “Power of Solutions” to government and commercial customers in the areas of intelligence, missiles, aviation, cyber and space. Based in Huntsville, Ala., with offices throughout the United States, Dynetics is a mid-tier company that provides complete lifecycle analysis, engineering and hardware solutions to support customer missions. For more information visit

About Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including engines for launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. For more information, go to

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

Dynetics and the Dynetics logo are registered trademarks of Dynetics Inc. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright 2012, Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, Ala., USA.


Janet Felts
Dynetics Inc.
256-713-5439 / 256-417-1985
[email protected]

Erin Dick
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
818-586-4977 / 860-726-8387
[email protected]