ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Support Successful Launch of GPS Satellite
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) propulsion and composite technologies supported today's successful launch of the United Launch Alliance's Delta II rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force's fifth modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) navigation satellite built by Lockheed Martin.
Nine GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured in ATK's Salt Lake City, Utah, facility provided augmented thrust for the launch. ATK's Clearfield, Utah, facility produced the composite cases for the GEM-40 boosters using an automated filament winding process developed and refined through its 40-year-heritage in composite manufacturing. Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine and provided over 824,000 pound maximum thrust for the launch vehicle. Just over one minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide an additional 427,000 pound maximum thrust. The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket as it continued its ascent.
Following burnout and separation of the GEM-40 boosters, STAR ™ motors produced in ATK's Elkton, Md., facility were used to complete the Delta II boost phase and spacecraft orbit insertion. One hour and five minutes into the Delta II operation, an ATK-produced STAR™ 48B rocket motor acting as the Delta II third stage fired. Following the motor's 85-second burn, the satellite was successfully separated from the launch vehicle.
The Global Positioning System enables properly equipped users to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. The GPS IIR-M satellite series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.
ATK is an advanced weapon and space systems company with annual revenues in excess of $4.1 billion that employs approximately 17,000 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at http://www.atk.com/.
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