Press Release

ATK Composite and Propulsion Technologies Help Launch NASA’s Dawn Space Craft Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2007
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ATK Solid Motors Used To Launch Heavy Payload On Delta II Vehicle

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) propulsion and composite technologies supported the successful launch of the United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Dawn spacecraft that will use an ion propulsion system to visit and orbit the asteroids Vesta and Ceres.

Nine GEM-46 solid propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured in ATK’s Salt Lake City, Utah facility provided augmented thrust for the launch while the STAR 48B rocket motor, manufactured in Elkton, Maryland, acted as the third-stage rocket motors. ATK’s Clearfield, Utah facility produced the composite cases for the GEM-46 boosters using an automated filament winding process developed and refined through its 40-year-heritage in composite manufacturing.

Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine and provided over 824,000 pound maximum thrust for the launch vehicle. Just over one minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide an additional 427,000 pound maximum thrust. The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket as it continued its ascent.

Following burnout and separation of the GEM-46 boosters and the rocket’s liquid second stage, an ATK-produced STAR(TM) 48B third-stage rocket motor fired approximately 55 minutes into flight to provide the final velocity increment needed by the spacecraft to begin its journey.

ATK is a $4 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: 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.