ATK Supports the Launch of Boeing's Delta IV
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 6 / - Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) supported Saturday's successful launch of a Boeing Delta IV rocket carrying a Department of Defense (DoD) weather satellite that is part of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program run by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems center. This satellite will join two others already in orbit tracking global weather conditions and providing data for distribution to the DoD and civilian government agencies.
ATK designed and produced the nozzle for the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne- built RS-68 engine as well as the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding it from the extreme heat of launch when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees F. The Delta IV's RS-68 is the largest hydrogen-fueled engine in the world, utilizing an ATK nozzle that is the first of its kind in a liquid booster engine.
Two ATK GEM-60 solid propulsion strap-on boosters provided augmented thrust for the launch. The two 60-inch-diameter boosters ignited at liftoff and burned for just over 90 seconds before being jettisoned from the common booster core (CBC) and falling back to Earth. During the flight, each GEM provided 195,000 pounds of average thrust.
ATK supplied several key composite structures for the launch vehicle: the thermal shield that houses the RS-68 main engine; the centerbody structure that connects the liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks of the CBC; the liquid oxygen forward skirt that connects with the interstage and interfaces the 5 meter diameter CBC with the 4 meter diameter upper stage and payload; the payload attach fitting (PAF) and diaphragm (PAFD) that interface the upper stage with the payload; and the payload fairing that houses the spacecraft.
The structures, which range from 4 to 5 meters (13.1 to 16.6 ft) in diameter and up to 8 meters (26 feet) in length, are produced using advanced hand layup manufacturing techniques at the company's manufacturing facility in Iuka, Miss.
ATK is a $3.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 22 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com/ .
Source: Alliant Techsystems
Web site: www.atk.com/