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ATK Confident of Role in NASA HLV Project


Space News reports that ATK is confident that its solid rocket boosters will continue to be part of NASA’s heavy-lift rocket design:

Solid-rocket-motor manufacturer ATK on Feb. 3 sought to persuade investors that its position in NASA’s future heavy-lift rocket program is getting stronger despite ongoing debate over the vehicle’s cost and schedule.

Minneapolis-based ATK, whose $500 million in annual NASA revenue during the shuttle era is now being reduced to around $300 million a year, said the lower figure seems stable for the foreseeable future given the state of the debate in Washington over what NASA’s heavy-lift rocket will look like.

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Aerojet Seeks to Unseat ATK, Rocketdyne on HLV Project


Aerojet Guns for Lead Roles On New Heavy-Lift Rocket
Space News

As NASA settled last year on a congressionally mandated heavy-lift launch vehicle design based on propulsion technologies already in development, rocket-engine manufacturer Aerojet was making a case for opening up key elements of the launcher to competition….
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ViviSat to Offer Satellite Life Extension Services


ViviSat Press Release

U.S. Space LLC, a U.S.-based creator of dedicated space solutions for government and commercial clients, and ATK, an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company, today announced the creation of ViviSat, a new satellite life extension venture. ViviSat provides geosynchronous satellite operators with flexible, scalable, capital-efficient, and low-risk in-orbit mission extension and protection services that can add several years to the revenue-producing life of a satellite.

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ATK: Ares Solid Rocket Motor Ready for Flight Testing



Data from the second successful five segment Development Motor (DM-2) test conducted by ATK and NASA show that the new motor performed precisely as designed, providing substantially higher performance and reliability than the heritage space shuttle solid rocket booster at a lower cost.

“These extensive test results confirm the ATK five segment Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) is ready for flight testing,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of Space Launch Systems, ATK Aerospace Systems.  “The five-segment first stage design was based on more than 30 years of safety-driven improvements on the shuttle program. The result is a higher performing, more reliable solid rocket motor, which equates to increased safety for crew and mission success for cargo.”

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Frustration in Utah as House Delays NASA Funding Vote


No ATK vote upsets Bishop / Lawmaker: Congress needs to get moving to save jobs
Standard Examiner

A frustrated Rep. Rob Bishop left Washington, D.C., for Utah on Friday afternoon, taking time only to call the Standard-Examiner from the airport and lambaste House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not holding a vote on a bill he thinks is the best compromise yet to save jobs at ATK Space Systems.

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Athena Rocket on List to Launch NASA Satellites



NASA announced yesterday that the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) Athena Launch Vehicle Family has been selected to become part of the agency’s Launch Services II contract.

Vehicles selected fulfill NASA’s requirements for domestic launch services with a minimum performance capability of placing a 250-kilogram (550 pound) spacecraft in a 200-kilometer low Earth orbit (LEO) at an inclination of 28.5 degrees. Athena can carry payloads up to 1800 kilograms (3968 pounds) to LEO. Utilizing a large volume 92-inch diameter payload fairing, the vehicle accommodates a wide range of satellites and missions as well as lunar missions.

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Video: This Week in Space


A massive booster roars to life in Utah test, taking out the trash space station style, planning an asteroid mission and NASA mixes up fake vomit in the lab!

Video: ATK Tests Five Segment Ares Motor



Alliant Techsystems and NASA conducted a successful ground test earlier today of the second Ares five-segment Development Motor (DM-2).  The successful test is an important milestone in the development of America’s next generation of launch vehicles.

Initial test data indicated that the motor, which was chilled to a 400 F core temperature since early July, performed as designed, producing approximately 3.6 million pounds of thrust, or 22 million horsepower, and burned for just over two minutes.  The test collected 764 channels of data to accomplish 53 test objectives.  This is the most data ATK has ever collected in a static fire test.

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Space Review Looks at the Future of Ares 1


In The Space Review this week…

DM-2 and the future of SRBs
This week NASA and ATK are scheduled to perform the second test-firing of a five-segment solid rocket motor originally developed for the Ares 1. Jeff Foust describes the planning for the test and its significance given the uncertain future of NASA’s human spaceflight plans.

Dancing in the dark: The orbital rendezvous of SJ-12 and SJ-06F
Earlier this month two Chinese satellites made a close approach to, and perhaps even made contact with, each other. Brian Weeden examines the facts about this event and its implications for space security.

Review: Eyes in the Sky
This month marked the 50th anniversary of the first successful CORONA reconnaissance satellite mission. Dwayne Day reviews a recent book that examines the early history of CORONA and related efforts to track what was going on in the Soviet Union.

ATK and NASA to Test Ares Solid Rocket Motor



Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK – News) and NASA will test the second fully developed Ares five-segment solid rocket motor, known as Development Motor-2 (DM-2). The five-segment rocket motor is an upgraded version of the Shuttle’s 4-segment booster, and has also been identified as a key element of NASA’s future Heavy Lift Launch vehicle.

What: Horizontal ground test firing of Ares DM-2

Date: Tuesday August 31, 2010

Time: 9:05 a.m. MDT

Where: ATK Aerospace Systems facility in Promontory, Utah

Test Objectives/Background:

  • * A total of 53 design objectives will be measured through more than 760 instruments.
  • DM-2 is a “cold motor” test. The motor will be cooled to 40 degrees F to measure solid rocket motor performance at low temperature, as well as to verify design requirements of new materials in the motor joints. These new materials will allow for the elimination of joint heaters that were necessary in the original 4-segment motor design. This will save significant weight, further reduce system complexity and simplify launch operations, while simultaneously delivering increased operating margins at lower ambient temperatures.
  • Other objectives include data gathering on vital motor upgrades such as the new insulation and motor case liner and the redesigned nozzle which increase the robustness of the design.
  • When fired, the motor will produce a maximum thrust 3.6 million pounds, or 22 million horsepower.
  • The cases have all previously flown on the space shuttle, collectively launching on 57 missions.
  • A public viewing area is available along State Road 83 North approximately 20 miles west of Corinne, Utah.