News Releases

ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Help Launch National Reconnaissance Office Satellite

Jan 19, 2009

ATK Supports the Launch of United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems composite and propulsion technologies supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellite. The mission, known as NROL-26, will deploy a classified satellite payload.

ATK designed and produced the nozzle for the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built RS-68 engine as well as the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding it from the extreme heat of launch when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees F. The Delta IV's RS-68 is the largest hydrogen-fueled engine in the world, utilizing an ATK nozzle that is the first of its kind in a liquid booster engine. The nozzle is manufactured at ATK's Promontory, Utah facility.

ATK also supplied 12 key composite structures for the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle: the interstage that provides the interface between the Common Booster Core (CBC) and the cryogenic second stage, two nose cones for the port and starboard strap-on CBC's, three centerbodies that integrate the liquid oxygen (LO2) and liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks, three thermal shields that protect the RS-68 engines during ignition and flight, and three LO2 skirts.

The composite structures are five meters in diameter and range from one to eight meters in length. They are produced using advanced hand layup manufacturing techniques at the company's manufacturing facility in Iuka, Miss.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and approximately $4.6 billion in revenue. News and information can be found on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Bryce Hallowell
Phone: 952-351-3087

Investor Contact:
Steve Wold
Phone: 952-351-3056


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