NASA on Monday awarded a $1.2 billion contract to Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne to design and evaluate the J-2X engine that will power Ares rockets.
The contract includes ground and test flight engines. It continues work that began last year under a preliminary contract with Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, which is a unit of industrial conglomerate United Technologies.
The new deal run through 2012 with engines for operational missions to be purchased through a separate contract, according to NASA.
Shares of Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies added $1.67, or 2.2 percent, to $76.67 on Monday. Earlier, shares traded as high as $76.98, eclipsing a previous 52-week high of $75.21.