Press Release

ATK Awarded Additional Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) Motor Contract Valued at Approximately $70 Million

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2007
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Orion LAS Attitude Control Motor Will Support Critical Abort System Test Next Year

ATK High Thrust Proportional Valve and Control System Maturity Key to Selection

Alliant Techsystems has been selected by Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB – News) as part of the Orion prime contractor team, led by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – News), to provide the attitude control motor (ACM) for NASA’s Orion crew exploration vehicle launch abort system (LAS). The new LAS contract is valued at approximately $70 million. The ACM adds to ATK’s content on the LAS, which already includes the primary launch abort motor. Work on the ACM will be performed at ATK facilities in Elkton, MD.

ATK will lead an industry team including Moog, Inc., Buffalo, NY and Fiber Materials, Inc., Biddeford, ME in the development of the attitude control motor. The ACM will utilize proven space-qualified propellant and gas generator technologies and ATK’s unique proportional valve. An array of eight valves will be used to provide the thrust needed to properly orient the Orion capsule for safe recovery in the event of a variety of possible launch abort scenarios.

“ATK is honored to be leading the development of this key propulsion subsystem for the nation’s human-rated spaceflight program,” said Bart Olson, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Tactical Propulsion and Controls Division, Baltimore, MD. “America’s astronauts expect and deserve the aerospace communities’ best efforts to ensure their safety. The Orion launch abort system ACM will reflect the human-rated spaceflight heritage that is a hallmark of ATK,” Mr. Olson added.

The Orion crew exploration vehicle is the successor to the Space Shuttle as NASA’s primary vehicle for future human space exploration. In the event of an emergency during launch, the LAS will allow the astronaut crew to safely escape, with the ATK developed ACM playing a critical role in the mission as the capsule is jettisoned away from the launch vehicle.

The Orion LAS will be demonstrated during an abort system test that is scheduled to take place in 2008 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

ATK is a $3.9 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 16,500 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: the challenges associated with developing advanced rocket motors, changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company’s competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

SpaceRef staff editor.