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ATK supports launch of Boeing Delta II rocket

Mar 22, 2004

Minneapolis, March 22, 2004 – ATK (Alliant Techsystems, NYSE: ATK) solid propulsion and composite technologies supported Saturday’s successful launch of a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. that successfully placed into orbit the 11th Class 2R satellite for the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS 2R-11) constellation.

Augmented thrust for the launch was provided by nine GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured by ATK Thiokol Propulsion at its facility in Magna, Utah — continuing a tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990.

Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine. Less than a minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide additional thrust. The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket as it continued its ascent.

The graphite epoxy cases for the GEM-40 boosters are manufactured by ATK Composites, Clearfield, Utah. The facility also builds cases for other space launch vehicles, including Delta, Titan IVB, Pegasus®, and Taurus®.

Following burnout and separation of the GEM-40 boosters and the rocket's liquid second stage, a STAR™ 48B third-stage rocket motor propelled the GPS replacement satellite into an elliptical orbit. A STAR 37FM™ apogee kick motor, initiated by a Model 2134B safe-and-arm device, provides the added velocity to place the satellite into its final inclination and circular orbit.

ATK Elkton, Elkton, Md., has manufactured every launch vehicle upper stage and apogee kick motor for the NAVSTAR/GPS constellation dating back to the original experimental flights in the late 1970s.

ATK Elkton is a leading producer of solid propulsion systems for missile defense and space applications. The STAR motor family has a 40-year heritage of success ranging from the first human-rated solid propulsion systems used on the Mercury and Gemini programs to more recent integrated upper stages used on planetary and space exploration missions, including the Lunar Prospector.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion is the world’s leading supplier of solid-propellant rocket motors. Products manufactured by the company include propulsion systems for the Delta, Pegasus, Taurus®, Athena, Atlas, H-IIA, and Titan IV B expendable space launch vehicles, NASA’s Space Shuttle, the Trident II Fleet Ballistic Missile and the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and ground-based midcourse defense interceptors.

ATK Composites — the largest producer of filament-wound and fiber-placed structures in the world — has revolutionized the composites industry through 40 years of innovation and manufacturing excellence. The company produces structures and materials for space launch vehicles, commercial and military aircraft, and missile defense systems.

ATK is a $2.2 billion aerospace and defense company with strong positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, precision capabilities, and civil and sporting ammunition. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 13,100 people and has three business groups: Precision Systems, Aerospace, and Ammunition and Related Products. ATK news and information can be found on the Internet at

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