Press Release

ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Key to Successful Delta II Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2008
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ATK Supports COSMO-SkyMed 3 Satellite

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK – News) played a key role in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket Friday, Oct. 24 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

ATK manufactured the four GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters that ignited with the Delta II first-stage main engine at liftoff. The boosters provided 600,000 pounds of maximum thrust helping carry the COSMO-SkyMed 3 satellite to its required orbit.

ATK manufactured the GEM-40 motors at its facility in Magna, Utah, continuing a tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990. The composite cases for the GEM-40 boosters were produced at ATK’s Clearfield, Utah, facility and are made of graphite epoxy material (GEM). The lightweight, filament wound cases are one-fifth the weight of steel.

COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for the Mediterranean basin Observation) is an Earth observation satellite system funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and Ministry of Defence and conducted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), intended for both military and civilian use. The first COSMO satellite was launched June 7, 2007 and the second was launched Dec. 8, 2007, both on Delta II rockets. The observatory satellite on this launch was encapsulated by a 10 ft. diameter composite fairing manufactured by ATK in Iuka, Miss.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and approximately $4.6 billion in revenue. News and information can be found on the Internet at

SpaceRef staff editor.