Press Release

ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Support Launch of GPS Satellite Aboard Delta II Rocket

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2003
Filed under , ,

ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
solid propulsion and composite technologies supported the launch
yesterday of a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
Fla. that successfully placed into orbit a replacement satellite for the U.S.
Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation.

The initial thrust for the launch was provided by nine GEM 40 solid
propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured by ATK Thiokol Propulsion,
Promontory, Utah, at its facility in Magna, Utah – continuing a tradition of
flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990.

Six of the boosters were ignited at lift off with the first-stage main
engine. Within a minute later, the remaining three boosters were air-lit.
The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket as it continued its ascent.

The graphite epoxy cases for the GEM 40 boosters are manufactured by ATK
Composites, Clearfield, Utah. The cases, which are fabricated using a process
first introduced by the company in 1958 and modernized and automated over the
years, support space launches by a variety of vehicles, including Delta, Titan
IV B, Pegasus®, and Taurus®.

Following burnout and separation of the GEM 40 boosters and the rocket’s
liquid second stage, a STAR? 48B third-stage rocket motor propelled the GPS
replacement satellite into an elliptical orbit. A STAR 37FM apogee kick motor
will provide the added velocity to place the satellite into its final
inclination and circular orbit.

Both STAR motors are produced by ATK Tactical Systems-Elkton Operations,
Elkton, Md. The STAR motor family has a 40-year heritage of success ranging
from the first human-rated solid propulsion systems used on the Mercury and
Gemini programs, to more recent integrated upper stages used on planetary and
space exploration missions, including the Lunar Prospector.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion is the world’s leading supplier of solid-propellant
rocket motors. Products manufactured by the company include propulsion
systems for the Delta, Pegasus, Taurus®, Athena, Atlas, H-IIA, and Titan IV
B 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.

ATK Composites – the largest producer of filament-wound and fiber-placed
structures in the U.S. – 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 $2.1 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions
in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities.
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.