Status Report

ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Key to Successful Delta II Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2008
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ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Key to Successful Delta II Launch

MINNEAPOLIS, June 20 Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) played a key role in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket today from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

ATK manufactured the three GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters that ignited with the Delta II first-stage main engine at liftoff. The boosters provided 408,000 pounds of maximum thrust helping carry the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) on the Jason-2 satellite to its required orbit.

The OSTM/Jason-2 mission is supported by NASA and its international partners. Jason-2 is the follow-on to the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites that are instrumental in increasing understanding of ocean circulation, improving climate forecasts and measuring global sea-level change.

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.

At its facility in San Diego, California, ATK designed, manufactured, and environmentally tested the Reflector Structure Assembly (RSA) of the Advanced Microwave Radiometer instrument that is part of NASA’s OSTM/Jason 2 mission. The RSA includes a lightweight, very high accuracy one meter diameter composite reflector integrated with a composite pallet and struts providing a three point interface to the spacecraft structure. This effort was performed under a contract with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena, California, which manages the OSTM/Jason 2 mission for NASA.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and $4.5 billion in revenue. News and information can be found on the Internet at

SpaceRef staff editor.