The second of four major segments of the Electric Power System components built by Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX – News), was carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Saturday, Sept. 9 and soon will be installed on the International Space Station (ISS). Once connected and operational, the new power system components will boost the ISS electric power by 19,000 watts, enough to power a dozen homes.

The latest mission, STS-115, marks the first assembly on the ISS since 2002. Weighing more than 17 tons, the P3/P4 truss segment will add an additional 45 feet to the ISS structure that will eventually span more than 300 feet to carry power, data and temperature control for the space station’s electronics.

The P4 segment is the first major Electric Power System segment delivered to the ISS in nearly six years, and the first in a series of deliveries of similar Hamilton Sundstrand equipment to be provided over the next four Space Shuttle missions. The final element in this series will be installed on the ISS in June 2007, and the last of the four power modules will be launched in June 2008. Installation and power-up of the P4 will continue the proven performance of the Electric Power System. First put into operation in 2000, the system has provided power with no outages or blackouts — a remarkable accomplishment when compared to Earth-bound systems.

The P4 segment was designed and built by Rocketdyne’s Space Power & Energy business in Canoga Park, Calif. That business became part of Hamilton Sundstrand when United Technologies acquired Rocketdyne from Boeing in 2005. Rocketdyne’s space propulsion business became part of UTC’s Pratt & Whitney unit in the same acquisition.

“We are pleased and proud to contribute to our nation’s space exploration program,” said Ed Francis, vice president and general manager of Hamilton Sundstrand Space, Land & Sea. “Our people have worked extremely hard to meet and exceed all of the mission’s requirements.”

Hamilton Sundstrand, a partner in America’s space program since its inception, provides a number of other systems for the ISS, including those that control electrical power and process water, waste and air. On the Atlantis orbiter, Hamilton Sundstrand provides crew life support and thermal control systems, auxiliary power units and human waste and storage systems. Hamilton Sundstrand has been the prime contractor to NASA for the space suit since the shuttle era began in 1981.

Other United Technologies companies play a major role in America’s space program as well. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne supplies the Space Shuttle’s main engines, which have successfully powered every shuttle launch to date. The Space Shuttle main engines are the world’s only re-usable rocket engines and also the most efficient ever produced. Each engine generates 418,000 pounds of thrust at sea level. The former Rocketdyne business has a 50-year history in space exploration.

UTC Power has supplied fuel cells for the U.S. space program since the 1960s, and continues to provide three 12kW fuel cells that generate all onboard electrical power for each orbiter. Backup batteries are not needed, and the water produced by the electrochemical reaction in the fuel cells is used for crew drinking and spacecraft cooling. Thus far, shuttle fuel cells have accumulated more than 92,000 hours of operation.

UTC, which expects space-related revenue to approach $1 billion in 2006, employs about 4,000 people in five states to perform space work.

Hamilton Sundstrand employs approximately 16,700 people worldwide and is headquartered in Windsor Locks, Conn. In addition to its space business, Hamilton Sundstrand is among the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products. The company designs, manufactures and services aerospace systems and provides integrated system solutions for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft.

United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company that provides high-technology products and services to the aerospace and building industries.