Press Release

ATK Rocket Motors and Composites Help Launch Global Positioning Satellite Aboard Boeing Delta II Rocket

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2004
Filed under , ,

ATK Supports U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Upgrade

ATK solid
propulsion and composite technologies supported Monday’s successful launch of
a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The
launch successfully placed into orbit the 13th Class IIR satellite for the
U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS IIR-13) constellation. All 25
of the current GPS satellites were launched with the help of ATK rocket
motors.

Augmented thrust for the launch was provided by nine GEM-40 solid
propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured by ATK Thiokol — continuing a
tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990.

Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine.
Less than a minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide
additional thrust. The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket as it
continued its ascent.

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

ATK has manufactured every launch vehicle upper stage and apogee kick
motor for the NAVSTAR/GPS constellation dating back to the original
experimental flights in the late 1970s.

ATK is a $2.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing
13,600 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet
at http://www.atk.com .

SpaceRef staff editor.