DULLES, Virg., 28 March 2017 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, and NASA have donated a set of flight-worthy solid rocket boosters from the Space Shuttle Program to the California Science Center to display with a full-up exhibit of the Endeavour orbiter and external tank.
“We take great pride in our 30-plus years of participation in the Space Shuttle Program,” said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “We’re pleased and honored that we can contribute hardware to this amazing exhibit at the California Science Center.”
The California Science Center Foundation’s goal for this exhibit is to preserve and display the only existing full stack of genuine solid rocket boosters, orbiter, and external tank for Endeavour’s ultimate display in a vertical position in the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.
After NASA awarded the last existing flight worthy external tank (ET-94) to the Science Center Foundation in 2015, it became evident it would be critical to have a flight-worthy set of solid rocket boosters, not only for authenticity but also for seismic structural safety. Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center Project Director Dennis Jenkins made the request to Orbital ATK.
The booster cases that Orbital ATK is giving to the California Science Center have flown on 74 space shuttle flights and have been part of 32 ground tests. One case is new.
“As for the non-motor parts of the booster, we sourced a set of flight-worthy aft skirts and frustums from NASA surplus and a set of forward skirts that were used for tests for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program that are currently in Utah at Orbital ATK,” said Jenkins. “Orbital ATK and NASA are providing most of the smaller parts, like booster separation motors, from surplus.”
Construction on the space shuttle exhibit is expected to begin in the summer of 2017.