Press Release

ATK Awarded Contract for Ares I Upper Stage Ullage Motor

By SpaceRef Editor
July 2, 2009
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Motors Assist Stage Separation and Second Stage Engine Safe Start-Up

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) was selected by The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) to manufacture the upper stage ullage motors for the new Ares I launch vehicle. The Ares I is NASA’s two-stage rocket that will launch astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft on missions to the International Space Station, the moon, Mars and out into the solar system.

The ullage motor, almost four feet in length, is similar to the Space Shuttle booster separation motor which ATK also manufacturers. Eight ullage motors will be arranged in four pairs on the Ares I upper stage, which also houses the reaction control system.

The motors provide acceleration of the upper stage during stage separation from Ares I first stage. This acceleration process not only settles the liquid fuel and oxidizer in the upper stage tanks which provides continuous liquid flow to the J2X main engines, but also assists in the separation of the two stages. Each motor burns for approximately four seconds and provides a combined thrust of 40,000 pounds.

“We are pleased Boeing selected ATK to provide this critical piece of hardware for the upper stage,” said Mike Rudolphi, ATK vice president of Site Operations and Integration. “We look forward to working with the team and sharing our expertise in motor design and testing to produce safe and reliable motors for the Ares Program.”

Under the contract, ATK will provide motors for Design, Development, Test and Evaluation phase, and the initial flights.

ATK Space System’s Huntsville Operations will manage the program, with engineering support from other ATK businesses and manufacturing locations.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues in excess of $4.7 billion. 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: assumptions related to the performance of the ullage 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.