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Space

ATK Propulsion and Composites Instrumental in Successful Delta II Launch

May 06, 2009

ATK Engineering, Fabrication, and Testing Supports Missile Defense Agency's STSS-ATRR Satellite

MINNEAPOLIS, May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems propulsion, composites and spacecraft technologies have key roles in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance's Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and the mission of the Missile Defense Agency's Space Tracking and Surveillance System - Advanced Technology Risk Reduction (STSS-ATRR) satellite.

ATK designed, fabricated, and tested the Optical Bench for the satellite deployed on this mission. The ATK bench is a critical composite structural assembly providing the required stability for the payload sensors onboard the spacecraft. ATK also provided engineering analysis for the precise thermal and moisture distortion performance of the payload bench required to meet mission expectations in the harsh environment of space.

The Missile Defense Agency's STSS Advanced Technology Risk Reduction satellite serves as a technology pathfinder for the STSS mission - a space-based sensor component of the layered Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Nine ATK GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters provided augmented thrust for the launch. Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine and provided over 824,000 pounds maximum thrust. Just over one minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide an additional 427,000 pounds maximum thrust. The spent motors were then jettisoned from the rocket as it continued its ascent.

ATK manufactured the GEM-40 motors at its facility in Magna, Utah, continuing a tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990. The composite cases for the GEM-40 boosters were produced at ATK's Clearfield, Utah, facility and are made of graphite epoxy material using an automated filament winding process the company developed and refined through its 40-year heritage in composite manufacturing. The 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing, encapsulating the third stage that holds the payload, was fabricated by ATK's Iuka, Mississippi facility. The fairing was produced using advanced composite hand layup manufacturing, machining, and inspection techniques. This launch marks the 16th ATK-built fairing flown on a Delta II mission.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 19,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues in excess of $4.5 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.

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 the performance expectations of ATK's products on the STSS-ATRR spacecraft. 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:

    Bryce Hallowell                        Jeff Huebschen
    Phone:  952-351-3087                   Phone:  952-351-2929
    E-mail:  Bryce.hallowell@atk.com       E-mail:  jeff.huebschen@atk.com



      



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