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ATK Propulsion, Composite and Space Technologies Support Successful Launch of GPS Satellite

ATK Provides Enhanced Thermal Control Architecture to Support Satellite Communication Upgrades

MINNEAPOLIS, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) supported today's successful launch of the United Launch Alliance's Delta II rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force's sixth 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, designated GPS IIR-19(M), was separated from the launch vehicle and allowed to coast. After a two-day coast period, ATK's STAR™ 37FM motor will be ignited via an ATK Model 2134B safe-and-arm device, placing the GPS spacecraft in its final orbit within the GPS constellation.

The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions -- from air traffic control to the Internet -- with precision location and timing information. Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload provider ITT of Clifton, N.J. designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft and subsequently modernized eight of those spacecraft designated Block IIR-M for the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

GPS IIR-M satellites includes an upgrade from the baseline GPS IIR design that incorporates two new military signals for enhanced accuracy and a second civil signal on a different frequency. This upgrade resulted in a load, which is managed via a 3-foot x 5-foot equipment panel with an enhanced thermal control architecture that implements a network of embedded heat pipes for efficient heat acquisition and distribution. ATK's Beltsville, Md., facilities fabricated and tested the upgraded panels under contract to Lockheed Martin, contributing to the overall mission success of the high profile GPS IIR-M capability upgrade.

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

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