Orbital ATK Receives $20 Million Contract for Solid Booster Technology

The ground test of Orbital ATK’s five-segment rocket motor, known as QM-1, ocurred on March 11, 2015. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

The ground test of Orbital ATK’s five-segment rocket motor, known as QM-1, ocurred on March 11, 2015. (Credit: Orbital ATK)[/caption]The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $20 million contract to ATK Launch Systems for “advanced rocket technology-solid boost technology.”

The award is an “indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, hybrid cost-plus-fixed fee and firm-fixed-price contract for advanced rocket technology-solid boost technology. This contract provides a contract vehicle the Air Force Research Laboratory, aerospace systems, and rocket propulsion division can use to establish task orders to advance solid rocket motor technologies and address technical needs for next-generation strategic, tactical, and spacecraft propulsion systems,” according to the contract announcement.

“Work will be performed in Corinne, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 16, 2022,” the announcement states. “This award is the result of a competitive acquisition, with two offers received. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $650,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.”

Orbital ATK Completes Qualification of SLS Solid Rocket Booster Avionics

The ground test of Orbital ATK’s five-segment rocket motor, known as QM-1, ocurred on March 11, 2015. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

DULLES, Virginia, 6 September 2017 (Orbital ATK) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, recently completed an important qualification test of the avionics system for the solid rocket boosters the company has developed and is now manufacturing for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Completion of this milestone is an important step toward preparing the SLS and Orion spacecraft for their first flight in 2019. Two Orbital ATK-developed five-segment rocket boosters will be used on each SLS launch to help provide initial thrust for the first two minutes of flight.

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Orbital ATK Donates SRBs for Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibit

Endeavour and the shuttle carrier aircraft over Houston (Credit: NASA)

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.”

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First Results Show Success for Second NASA SLS Booster Test

Orbital ATK engineers begin disassembling the booster aft exit cone. Each segment of the booster will be taken apart and undergo a detailed inspection to support verification that the booster design meets SLS requirements. NASA and Orbital ATK also use the inspection to ensure the booster performed as expected during its second qualification ground test, which was successfully completed June 28 at Orbital ATK's test facilities. (Credit: OATK)
Orbital ATK engineers begin disassembling the booster aft exit cone. Each segment of the booster will be taken apart and undergo a detailed inspection to support verification that the booster design meets SLS requirements. NASA and Orbital ATK also use the inspection to ensure the booster performed as expected during its second qualification ground test, which was successfully completed June 28 at Orbital ATK’s test facilities. (Credit: OATK)

PROMONTORY, Utah (NASA PR) — For two heart-pumping minutes, the booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, demonstrated its power and operated as planned at nearly 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit during a successful qualification test June 28 at Orbital ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah.

The smoke has well cleared from that test, but critical data continues to pour in, which will help NASA qualify the booster for the first, uncrewed flight of SLS with the Orion spacecraft in 2018 — a key milestone on the agency’s journey to Mars.

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High Dynamic Camera Captures Video of SRB Test

Video Caption: This is footage of Orbital ATK’s QM-2 solid rocket booster test taken by NASA’s High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) camera. HiDyRS-X records high speed, high dynamic range footage in multiple exposures simultaneously for use in analyzing rocket engine tests. Traditional high speed video cameras are limited to shooting in one exposure at a time, but HiDyRS-X can record multiple high speed video exposures at once, combining them into a high dynamic range video that adequately exposes all areas of the video image for comprehensive analysis.

Video of Solid Rocket Motor Test

Video Caption: A booster for the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), successfully fired up Tuesday for its second qualification ground test at Orbital ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah. This was the last full-scale test for the booster before SLS’s first uncrewed test flight with NASA’s Orion spacecraft in late 2018, a key milestone on the agency’s Journey to Mars.

Orbital ATK Tests SRB for Space Launch System

The second and final qualification motor (QM-2) test for the Space Launch System’s booster is seen, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems test facilities in Promontory, Utah. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The second and final qualification motor (QM-2) test for the Space Launch System’s booster is seen, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems test facilities in Promontory, Utah. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

PROMONTORY, Utah (NASA PR) — A booster for the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), successfully fired up Tuesday for its second qualification ground test at Orbital ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah. This was the last full-scale test for the booster before SLS’s first uncrewed test flight with NASA’s Orion spacecraft in late 2018, a key milestone on the agency’s Journey to Mars.

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Orbital ATK Preps for SLS SRB Test Firing

Engineers prepare a five-segment sold rocket booster for a test firing. (Credit: Orbital ATK)
Engineers prepare a five-segment sold rocket booster for a test firing. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

PROMONTORY  (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, in partnership with NASA, has completed installing the second Space Launch System (SLS) booster qualification motor, QM-2, in a specialized test stand in Utah in preparation for a June 28 static-fire test.

QM-2 is the second of two Orbital ATK-developed motors to support qualification of the boosters for NASA’s SLS, which is a heavy-lift rocket designed to enable exciting new deep space exploration missions. The first qualification motor, QM-1, completed a successful test last spring.

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SRB Test Results Look Good

The ground test of Orbital ATK’s five-segment rocket motor, known as QM-1, ocurred on March 11, 2015. (Credit: Orbital ATK)
The ground test of Orbital ATK’s five-segment rocket motor, known as QM-1, ocurred on March 11, 2015. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

PROMONTORY, Utah, May 12, 2015 (Orbital ATK PR) – Data from the first five-segment qualification motor (QM-1) test conducted by Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) and NASA show the solid rocket motor performed as designed. Manufactured by Orbital ATK, the five-segment motor will be used to provide liftoff and ascent thrust for NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS.

“Having analyzed the data from QM-1 for a little more than a month, we can now confirm the test was a resounding success,” said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut. “These test results, along with the many other milestones being achieved across the program, show SLS is on track to preserve our nation’s leadership in space exploration.”

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Orbital ATK, NASA Test Five-Segment SLS Rocket Motor

PROMONTORY, Utah, 11 March 2015 (Orbital ATK PR) – NASA and Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) today conducted the first qualification ground test of the five-segment rocket motor that will be used for NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS), which is being designed to enable exciting new exploration missions throughout the solar system.

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IG: NASA Broke Law, Appointed Foxes to Oversee Orion Henhouse

NASA\'s Orion Spacecraft

The NASA Inspector General released a blistering report on Monday claiming that the agency broke the law when it created a key advisory board for its Orion lunar program and stocked it full of advisers who were employed by and stockholders in the companies they are supposed to oversee.

“NASA did not establish the Orion SRB [Standing Review Board] in accordance with Federal law or NASA guidance,” the report’s Executive Summary reads. “The Orion SRB meets the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) definition of an advisory committee. Although FACA committees must be established in accordance with FACA and NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 1150.11, ‘Federal Advisory Committee Act Committees,’ September 22, 2004, the Orion SRB was not.

“Had NASA initially recognized the Orion SRB as an advisory committee subject to FACA, NASA’s ethics process associated with advisory committee participation would have been triggered, resulting in a focus on board member independence and conflict of interest resolution. Aside from these considerations, independence is a requirement for SRB participation; however, of the 19 members of the Orion SRB, 6 (32 percent) were not independent of the Orion Project.”

The SRB’s chairman, former Skylab astronaut Edward Gibson, is a senior vice president and stockholder in Orion contractor SAIC, as is fellow member and former NASA flight director Neil Hutchinson, the Associated Press reports. Another unidentified SRB member works for SAIC.

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