Press Release

ATK Helps Send MESSENGER Spacecraft on Its Way to Mercury Aboard a Boeing Delta II

By SpaceRef Editor
August 3, 2004
Filed under , ,

motors helped launch a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral earlier this
morning carrying NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury where it will study
the hot, heavily-cratered planet. The journey to Mercury will last
six-and-a-half years and cover a distance of 4.9 billion miles.

Not only did ATK help launch the mission with Nine ATK GEM-46 solid
propulsion strap-on boosters, the company provided a STAR(TM) 48 motor that
ignited within an hour of lift off to help give the spacecraft the proper
trajectory to begin its journey.

Blake Larson, president, ATK Composites, said that the distance and length
of time for MESSENGER to get to Mercury required innovative lightweight
composite materials that can withstand the harsh environments of space travel.
On the sunlit side of Mercury, temperatures can exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit
while nightside temperatures can reach 350 degrees below zero.

“ATK is a world leading producer of advanced composite materials and the
MESSENGER mission demonstrates our unique ability to build systems and
subsystems that advance our knowledge of the heavens,” said Larson.

ATK is a $2.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing
13,100 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet
at .

SpaceRef staff editor.