Press Release

ATK Aerospace Technologies Support Successful Inaugural Launch of Boeing Delta IV Rocket

By SpaceRef Editor
November 21, 2002
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Advanced aerospace technologies developed by ATK’s (Alliant Techsystems) (NYSE: ATK) Aerospace Group supported the successful inaugural launch yesterday of America’s newest expendable space launch vehicle — the Boeing Delta IV.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion, Promontory, Utah, supplied two GEM 60 solid propulsion strap-on boosters, which helped provide the initial thrust for the Delta IV Medium + (4,2) vehicle — one of five Delta IV configurations built around a common booster core — during its lift-off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The GEM boosters were manufactured at the company’s rocket motor production facility in Magna, Utah. ATK Thiokol Propulsion also supplied the nozzle exit cone for the rocket’s RS- 68 first-stage engine.

ATK Composites, Clearfield, Utah, provided a composite thermal shield, centerbody, liquid oxygen tank skirt, and medium interstage for the Delta IV common booster core. The graphite epoxy structures, which measure 200 inches in diameter, were fabricated at the company’s Southern Composites Center in Iuka, Miss. using advanced hand lay-up techniques. The company’s Utah Composites Center in Clearfield also produced several composite structures integral to the GEM 60 boosters, including motor cases, flex seals, aeroskirts, and nose cones.

“This was a tremendously important success for the ATK Aerospace Group because of the depth of our involvement on the Delta IV rocket,” said Jeff Foote, group vice president, Aerospace. “These highly sophisticated products were developed and built by a top-notch workforce that is the best in the industry — and this successful event further reinforces that technical strength. Congratulations to the entire Boeing/ATK team.”

The Boeing Delta IV family of rockets is part of the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, which is aimed at reducing launch costs and providing assured access to space.

The payload for the inaugural Delta IV launch was a commercial telecommunications satellite for Eutelsat S.A. of France.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion is the world’s leading supplier of solid-propellant rocket motors. Products manufactured by the company include propulsion systems for the Delta, Pegasus®, Taurus®, Athena, Atlas, H-IIA, and Titan IV B expendable space launch vehicles, NASA’s Space Shuttle, the Trident II Fleet Ballistic and the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and ground-based missile defense interceptors.

ATK Composites — the largest producer of filament-wound and fiber-placed structures in the U.S. — has a 40-year heritage in the design and production of composite structures for aerospace and defense applications. The company produces structures for space launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, and commercial and military aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F/A-22 Raptor, and the Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance system.

ATK is a $2.1 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 11,500 people and has three business groups: Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition. ATK news and information can be found on the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.