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ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Support Launch of Military Satellite Aboard Titan IV B Rocket

Apr 9, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS, April 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ATK (Alliant Techsystems) (NYSE:ATK) solid propulsion and composite technologies supported the successful launch yesterday of a Lockheed Martin Titan IV B rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. that successfully placed into orbit a Department of Defense Milstar II communications satellite.

Two Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) boosters manufactured by ATK Thiokol Propulsion at its Magna, Utah, production plant provided the initial lift for the Titan IV B rocket. The boosters, which measure 112 feet in length and 10.5 feet in diameter, hold nearly 700,000 pounds of propellant and supply 3.4 million pounds of thrust. The SRMU boosters have been flying on Titan IV B missions since 1997.

The graphite epoxy cases for the SRMU boosters are manufactured by ATK Composites, Clearfield, Utah. The cases, which are fabricated using a process first introduced by the company in 1958 and modernized and automated over the years, support space launches by a variety of vehicles, including Delta, Titan IV B, Pegasus(R), and Taurus(R).

Additional ATK solid rocket motors were used in booster and stage separation. Staging rockets manufactured by ATK Tactical Systems at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W. Va., safely moved the spent SRMU boosters away from the launch vehicle.

After the liquid second-stage engine completed its burn, four STAR(TM) 5CB retrorockets jettisoned the spent second stage from the vehicle. ATK Elkton, Elkton, Md., produces the STAR motors.

The nation's largest, most powerful expendable launch vehicle, the Titan IV B is capable of boosting up to 47,800 pounds into low-Earth orbit or more than 12,700 pounds into geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. It is built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Space & Strategic Missiles near Denver, Colo.

The Milstar constellation of satellites, also built by Lockheed Martin, is designed to provide highly secure jam-resistant communications for military users with mobile terminals. The satellites weigh approximately 10,000 pounds, requiring a large, heavy-lift launch vehicle like the Titan IV B rocket to boost them to geosynchronous orbit. The Milstar satellite placed into orbit yesterday is the sixth and final one in the constellation.

ATK is the world's leading supplier of solid rocket motors, with a product portfolio that ranges from 3-inch diameter spin motors to the Space Shuttle's Reusable Solid Rocket Motors (RSRM), which measure 12 feet in diameter. The company is also a leading manufacturer of composite structures for space launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, and commercial and military aircraft.

ATK is a $2.1 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 12,000 people and has three business groups: Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition. ATK news and information can be found at

Source: Alliant Techsystems

CONTACT: Media Contact, Rod Bitz, +1-952-351-3063,, or
Investor Contact, Steve Wold, +1-952-351-3056,, both of
Alliant Techsystems

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