MINNEAPOLIS, April 25 -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) solid propulsion and composite technologies supported the successful launch yesterday of an Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) air-launched Pegasus XL® rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Pegasus XL carried NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite into space.
ATK's Orion solid propulsion motors provided power for all three stages of the air-launch vehicle. The motors, which have flown on all Pegasus rockets since its first mission in 1990, are manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah. The composite payload fairing, filament-wound solid rocket motor cases, the interstage that form the Pegasus vehicle's main structure and the first stage igniter case were produced by ATK in Clearfield, Utah.
The AIM satellite mission will explore Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), also called noctilucent clouds. PMCs, form about 50 miles above the Earth's surface and are commonly seen over the polar regions. More recently these clouds have been sighted in Colorado and Utah where they have never before been observed.
The satellite will generate electricity from a six panel, two stage deployable solar array system custom built by ATK's Goleta, California site.
ATK is the world's leading supplier of solid-propellant rocket motors. Products include propulsion systems for the Delta, Pegasus®, Taurus®, Atlas, H-IIA, and Titan IV expendable space launch vehicles, NASA's Space Shuttle, the Trident II Fleet Ballistic Missile, the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and ground-based missile defense interceptors.
Known for its unique capabilities in large structures manufacturing, ATK has revolutionized the composites industry through more than 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 $3.5 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,500 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at http://www.atk.com/.
Source: Alliant Techsystems
Web site: http://www.atk.com/