DULLES, Va., September 15, 2015 (Orbital ATK PR) — Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced today the successful completion of the first U.S. test of a 22 Newton (N) thruster using a high-performance green propulsion system powered by a safe, low-toxicity rocket fuel, designated LMP-103S, provided by the Swedish firm, ECAPS. Green rocket fuels pose fewer health risks and are more cost-effective in terms of storage, material handling, transportation and launch-site processing.
The test was part of a series at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and included both a 5N thruster and, for the first time in the United States, a 22N thruster, both of which performed well across all test parameters. Thrusters of this size are commonly used for maneuvering satellites while in Earth orbit.
“Orbital ATK and our partner ECAPS are dedicated to helping NASA achieve its goal of eliminating the challenges and risks associated with manufacturing, transporting and handling the current generation of high-performance propellants,” said Cary Ralston, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Missile Products division of the Defense Systems Group. “These successful tests move us another step toward providing safer, higher performance thrusters without the need for expensive and time-consuming protective processes and equipment.”
LMP-103S is a low-toxicity, environmentally-benign propellant, providing benefits over conventional hydrazine, which include improved performance, enhanced volumetric efficiency, reduction of propellant handling hazards and safer launch operations. Orbital ATK, ECAPS, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Glenn Research Center are testing the green propulsion system to demonstrate the performance and safety features of the system, and collecting data for evaluation of green propulsion options for spacecraft systems.
Founded in 2000, ECAPS is an innovative company with focus on green propulsion-based products for space applications. ECAPS innovations will enable simplified access to space for satellite and launcher systems. ECAPS holds a number of patents worldwide for a family of ADN (ammonium dinitramide) based propellants, catalyst, thruster design and manufacturing methods. ECAPS has its development and hardware manufacturing facilities in Solna in the greater Stockholm area.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.