Press Release

Multiple Orbital ATK Technologies Support United Launch Alliance Atlas V NROL-79 Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2017
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Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, supported today’s successful launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The rocket launched a classified satellite, designated NROL-79, for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in support of a national security mission. Orbital ATK provided advanced hardware from across multiple divisions to the ULA Atlas V launch vehicle.
“Seeing another successful Atlas V launch bolsters the pride we have in our partnership with ULA and confirms the trust they and the NRO place in us in delivering this critical asset for our nation’s security,” said Steve Earl, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division. “Our highly engineered composite structures and control products, unwavering commitment and exceptional teamwork ensure dependable access to space and affordable innovation for our customers.”
Orbital ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, which provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle. The assembly was fabricated using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at the company’s Iuka, Mississippi, facility. This is the 70th Atlas V launch using Orbital ATK-built composite structures.
This flight also marked the 35th consecutive successful flight of the Orbital ATK retro motors. Eight of these solid motors supported separation of the spent first stage. The Atlas V retrorocket is built by Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group at its facility in Elkton, Maryland. Orbital ATK manufactured the Reaction Control System propellant tank for the ULA Atlas V at its Commerce, California, facility.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.  The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier.  Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,500 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations.  For more information, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.