Press Release

ATK Rocket Motor Boosts Athena I Vehicle in First Launch From Alaska’s Kodiak Launch Complex

By SpaceRef Editor
October 1, 2001
Filed under , ,

ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
said a solid rocket motor developed and produced by ATK Thiokol Propulsion
Company, Promontory, Utah, helped launch an Athena I space launch vehicle on
its first mission from the new Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska on Sept. 29.

The CASTOR 120® motor provided the first-stage thrust to the Athena I
vehicle during the first 85 seconds of the mission, which placed four
individual satellites into two different orbits for the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense Space Test
The satellites will perform research and educational missions.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Denver, Colo., builds the Athena I
vehicle, which is capable of boosting payloads of up to 1,750 pounds.

Designed and developed by ATK Thiokol Propulsion Company as a
company-funded effort, the CASTOR 120 motor serves as the basic building block
for the U.S. ground-based small launch vehicle fleet.
It provides boost
propulsion for not only the Athena family of vehicles but also for the Orbital
Sciences Corporation Taurus® rocket.

The CASTOR 120 motor weighs approximately 116,000 pounds, with propellant
accounting for approximately 107,000 pounds of the total weight.
company’s TCR(TM) resin formulation is used in the motor’s case material.

Among the four satellites placed into orbit by the Athena I was the
Starshine 3 satellite developed by the Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant
Consortium and built by the Naval Research Laboratory.
ATK Thiokol Propulsion
Company is a member of the Rocky Mountain Consortium, which is headed by the
Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

ATK is a $1.6 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
9,600 people and has two business segments:
Aerospace and Defense.
ATK news
and information can be found on the Internet at

SpaceRef staff editor.