Eaton Hydraulic Pump Powers Historic Space Flight

Date: 2/14/2016

‘New Shepard’ rocket booster, equipped with an Eaton hydraulic pump, breaks new ground in space travel with successful flight and vertical return landing.

IRVINE, Calif. … Power management company Eaton recently powered a historic space flight when one of its hydraulic pumps facilitated the launch and successful return landing of Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle. This flight in November 2015 was the first time a rocket booster flew to space and returned for a vertical landing back on Earth.

Blue Origin, LLC is a private company developing vehicles and technologies to enable commercial human space transportation.

The New Shepard space vehicle is fully reusable and is comprised of a crew capsule and a rocket booster powered by a single American-made BE-3 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. The vehicle uses hydraulics to power its aerodynamic controls, landing gear, and rocket propulsion valves and actuation systems. 

Eaton’s pump, produced in Jackson, Mississippi, was the heart of that hydraulic system and provided the needed power for the rocket’s hydraulic system.

Named in honor of the first American in space, Alan Shepard, the vehicle flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before landing back at the launch site in West Texas.

“Eaton’s support throughout the development of this project was outstanding,” said Robert Meyerson, president, Blue Origin. “They helped us overcome several challenges during the process and moved mountains to help us make this historic flight possible. We could not have succeeded without Eaton.”

Faced with an aggressive launch schedule and several challenges, Eaton engineers worked with Blue Origin to design a retrofit solution to power the space vehicle. Just 19 days after the Blue Origin team visited Eaton’s facility in Mississippi, the spacecraft made its historic flight.

“Eaton’s products have a history of helping to power space flight, and we are proud to have played a pivotal role in making this historic milestone possible,” said Nanda Kumar, president, Eaton’s Aerospace Group. “Our team’s ability to provide the customer with an innovative and customized solution in a short amount of time demonstrates Eaton’s commitment to excellence.”

To read more about the launch and watch the video, visit www.blueorigin.com. To learn more about Eaton’s Aerospace capabilities, visit http://www.eaton.com/Aerospace.

In the aerospace industry, Eaton is a leading supplier of hydraulic, electro-hydraulic pump and generator products and integrated systems; engine and airframe fuel pumps; electric motors; aircraft door actuation, flight and flow controls; fluid, fuel and air delivery products and systems, including fuel inerting and fuel gauging, ground fueling and aerial refueling; lightning and ignition protection; nose wheel steering systems; integrated control systems; cockpit controls and displays; power and load management systems; pressure sensors, seals and fluid health monitoring products and systems; and aftermarket service and support. Eaton serves commercial and military aerospace, marine, and off-road markets worldwide.

Eaton is a power management company with 2015 sales of $20.9 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 97,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.



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