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ATK Successfully Completes First Test Series for NASA's 7,500 Pounds-Force Thrust Liquid Oxygen/Methane Workhorse Engine

Potential Propulsion Option for NASA's Lunar Lander Ascent Engine
Work led from ATK facility in Ronkonkoma, New York

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) completed NASA's first test series for a 7,500 pounds-force (lbf) thrust Liquid Oxygen (LOX)/Methane Workhorse Engine. The test series provided valuable insights into LOX/Methane engine ignition, startup, shutdown, nominal operation, off-nominal operation, and dynamic combustion stability. This project is a collaboration between three NASA Centers and industry. Funded by NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program at Langley, Va., this work is conducted under the direction of the Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development Project based at Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. is managing the contract. ATK and its subcontractor, XCOR Aerospace, designed, fabricated, and tested the regeneratively cooled LOX/Methane engine. The engine design and test data are incorporated into ATK's new design for a flight-like prototype engine that will further mature the LOX/Methane regeneratively cooled technology for NASA. ATK will continue to support NASA's activity in this engine development activity and is focused on providing a propulsion option for the Lunar Lander ascent stage.

"ATK is pleased to be working with NASA on the development of this key propulsion subsystem for future space exploration missions," said Bart Olson, vice president and general manager of ATK's Tactical Propulsion and Controls Division, based in Baltimore, Md. "The workhorse engine may lead to higher performing and lower-cost solutions for expanding our missions into deep space. This new engine could support the Lunar Lander Ascent mission in the near term and other deep space applications in the long term," Olson added.

When combined with liquid oxygen, a liquid methane engine offers higher performance relative to other storable propellants, better long-term storage potential relative to liquid hydrogen, and lower cost handling characteristics due to its environmentally safe nature. Methane-fueled rocket engines are being considered for Mars exploration because of the possibility of producing these propellants by utilizing in-situ resources.

Tests to date have been conducted at sea level static conditions. Recognizing that ignition in deep space is a primary concern for any space propulsion system; ATK will conduct a series of follow-on tests at its vacuum test facility in Ronkonkoma, NY. These tests will allow evaluation of various ignition concepts and demonstrate repeatable ignition characteristics in vacuum.

ATK is an advanced weapon and space systems company with annual revenues in excess of $4.1 billion that employs more than 16,500 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at http://www.atk.com/.

XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket engines, rocket propulsion systems, and rocket powered vehicles.

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward- looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Media Contact:                     Investor Contact:

   Tracy Imm                          Steve Wold
   Phone:  410-864-4824               Phone:  952-351-3056
   E-mail:  tracy.imm@atk.com         E-mail:  steve.wold@atk.com



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