Press Release

ATK Powers Successful Launch of Pegasus Rocket and OrbView-3 Earth-Imaging Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
June 27, 2003
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ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
solid propulsion and composite technologies supported the
successful launch yesterday of an Orbital Sciences Corporation
air-launched Pegasus® rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The
Pegasus XL carried the OrbView-3 Earth-imaging satellite into space.

ATK’s Orion solid propulsion motors provided power for all three stages of
the air-launch vehicle. The motors, which have flown on all Pegasus rockets
since its first mission in 1990, are manufactured in Magna, Utah. The
composite payload fairing, filament-wound solid rocket motor cases, and the
interstage that form the Pegasus vehicle’s main structure were produced by ATK
in Clearfield, Utah, while the composite bus structure of the satellite
payload was fabricated at ATK’s San Diego facility.

“ATK’s significant contribution to commercial, military and scientific
space exploration is a source of great pride to the company and we are pleased
with yet another successful launch involving our proven propulsion and
composite structures technology,” said Jeff Foote, group vice president,

The OrbView-3 satellite will supply high-resolution optical imagery of the
Earth with its onboard camera that will take one-meter resolution black-and-
white images and four-meter resolution color images of the entire planet.

Since its maiden flight in 1990, Orbital’s Pegasus rocket has conducted 34
missions and launched more than 70 satellites — becoming the world’s standard
for affordable and reliable small launch vehicles. Yesterday’s launch was the
20th consecutive successful Pegasus mission carried out since 1997.

An Orbital L-1011 aircraft carries the rocket to approximately 40,000 feet
over the ocean, where it is released in a horizontal position before igniting
its first-stage Orion motor. The composite payload fairing separates
approximately 110 seconds into flight, following second-stage ignition.
Approximately ten minutes into the flight, the third-stage Orion motor
completes its burn, placing the satellite payload into orbit.

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

Known for its unique capabilities in large structures manufacturing, ATK
has revolutionized the composites industry through 40 years of innovation and
manufacturing excellence. The company produces structures for space launch
vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, and commercial and military aircraft.

ATK is a $2.2 billion aerospace and defense company with strong positions
in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, precision capabilities, and
civil and sporting ammunition. The company, which is headquartered in Edina,
Minn., employs approximately 12,000 people and has three business groups:
Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition. ATK news and information can be
found at .

SpaceRef staff editor.