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ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Key to Successful Delta II Launch

ATK Supports Launch of DigitalGlobe WorldView-2 Satellite
ATK Propellant Tank Helps Power WorldView-2 Satellite

Oct 09, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) played a key role in the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket for The Boeing Company today from Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 commercial satellite.

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 for the launch vehicle. 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 50-year heritage in composite manufacturing.

The 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing, encapsulating 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 was the 18th ATK-built fairing flown on a Delta II mission.

In addition to hardware on the launch vehicle, ATK provided hardware for the satellite. ATK's facility in Commerce, Calif., supplied an off-the-shelf 40-inch diameter propellant tank to Ball Aerospace for the WorldView-2 program. The propellant tank contains an elastomeric diaphragm which will provide active propellant management throughout the mission.

WorldView-2 is the first high-resolution, 8-band multispectral satellite commercially available. Along with the four typical multispectral bands - blue, green, red and near infrared - WorldView-2 is introducing the following new color bands for enhanced multispectral analysis: red edge, coastal, yellow and near infrared 2. Operating at an altitude of 770 kilometers, WorldView-2 will provide half-meter panchromatic resolution and 1.8-meter multispectral resolution. WorldView-2 will have an average revisit time of 1.1 days and will be capable of collection up to 975,000 square kilometers (376,000 square miles) per day, doubling the DigitalGlobe collection capacity.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at

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