The parent corporation of Rocketdyne, a Canoga Park maker of rocket engines, plans to sell the company to help pay for an acquisition.

United Technologies Inc. in Hartford, Conn. announced late Thursday it will sell its Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne unit to offset the cost of its $16.5 billion cash purchase of aerospace manufacturer Goodrich Corp. In addition to Rocketdyne, the company will sell four other companies and expects to obtain $3 billion from the divestitures.

“We are taking the opportunity to re-evaluate our portfolio as we enter a transformational stage,” UT Chief Executive Louis Chenevert said in a statement. “The proceeds from divestitures of non-core businesses will help minimize the equity issuance and reduce dilution from the Goodrich transaction.”

Rocketdyne was a major supplier to NASA and built the Saturn rockets for manned space missions in the 1960s. The company also built engines for Atlas and Delta rockets and the space shuttle main engines. As NASA has reduced space launches, the company has expanded from rocket propulsion into alternative fuel turbines and solar power systems. Its solar power system is used on the space station.

The company’s headquarters occupy about 47 acres in Canoga Park. Previous owners were Boeing Co. and Rockwell International Corp.