What: A safer Space Shuttle Atlantis will feature three
new, more robust engines when it launches April 4 on mission STS-110
from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The new Block II Main Engines incorporate an
improved fuel pump – featuring fewer welds, a stronger integral
shaft/disk and more robust bearings – making them safer and more
reliable, and potentially increasing the number of flights between
major overhauls.

A single Block II Engine was successfully
demonstrated in July 2001 on STS-104.  The upcoming mission
marks the first time the Shuttle will be powered by three of the new

Who: The Space Shuttle Projects Office at NASA’s
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the main
engines, the world’s most sophisticated reusable rocket engine. The
new turbopump, made by Pratt and Whitney of West Palm Beach, Fla.,
was tested at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Boeing
Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, Calif., manufactures the Space Shuttle
Main Engine.

For additional
information:  News media interested in more information on the
Block II Main Engine upgrades may contact Dave Drachlis of the
Marshall Space Flight Center Media Relations Department at (256)
544-0034.  For more information on testing of the engine,
contact Paul Foerman of the Stennis Space Center at (228)