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IET Satcom 2018

Orbital ATK Technologies support three recent United Launch Alliance Atlas V launches

(18 April 2018 - Orbital ATK) Orbital ATK recently supported the launches of three United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V vehicles with critical components and technologies from multiple divisions across the country.

Orbital ATK has played a critical role on every Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch since the Air Force program began in the late 1990s. All three launches took place within 12 weeks and included multiple launch vehicle and payload hardware components manufactured by Orbital ATK.

“Orbital ATK is proud to contribute multiple key technologies from across the company to both the ULA launch vehicles and their satellite payloads,” said Steve Earl, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division. “For these three successful launches in just 12 weeks, our collective products play an important role in ensuring missile warning and missile defense, more accurate and reliable weather forecasts and valuable scientific knowledge from experiments performed in space.”

For all three launches, Orbital ATK produced the ULA Atlas V vehicles’ 10-foot diameter composite heat shields, which provide essential protection for each first stage. For the GOES-S and AFSPC-11 launches, Orbital ATK provided two additional composite structures on each of ULA’s Atlas V launch vehicles, which include the Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) that houses the second stage engine, and the boattail that adapts from the core vehicle to the five-meter diameter fairing. Orbital ATK fabricated all of these large composite structures at the company’s facility in Iuka, Mississippi.

Orbital ATK also manufactured the ULA Atlas V rockets’ Reaction Control System propellant tanks at its Commerce, California, facility. In addition, eight solid motors supported the separation of each rocket’s spent first stage. The company built the retrorockets at its facility in Elkton, Maryland.

The ULA Atlas V SBIRS GEO Flight 4 mission launched January 19 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Orbital ATK provided propellant and pressurant tanks for the spacecraft from its Commerce location. The SBIRS constellation is designed to provide global, persistent, infrared and taskable surveillance capabilities to meet 21st century demands in the areas of missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness. Lockheed Martin Space designed and built the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite for the U.S. Air Force.

The ULA Atlas V GOES-S mission launched March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Multiple Orbital ATK facilities in California provided numerous subsystems for the GOES-S satellite, including the satellite’s primary structure, fuel and pressurizing tanks, assembly structures, light shade, antenna reflectors and solar array yokes and booms. Orbital ATK’s Beltsville, Maryland, facility provided multiple components as well, including embedded heat pipes and payload panels as part of the primary structure, and loop heat pipes and radiators for two of the instruments. Orbital ATK also provided a coilable lattice boom for the GOES-S magnetometer, continuing the success of company-built booms on previously launched GOES-N, -O, -P and -R satellites. NASA’s GOES-S is the next generation of geostationary weather satellites, and the second of four in the planned constellation. The GOES series satellites will contribute to more accurate and reliable weather forecasting and severe storm analysis and tracking.

The ULA Atlas V AFSPC 11 mission launched April 14 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The satellite will host at least five Department of Defense payloads, including the Orbital ATK-designed EAGLE satellite, which is based on the company’s innovative ESPAStar platform, and the Orbital ATK-designed Mycroft, which is built on the company’s ESPASat satellite platform. Orbital ATK designed and delivered the EAGLE satellite under a contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate. In addition to work performed at the company’s facility in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK sites in Commerce, California and Beltsville, Maryland provided tanks and heat pipes to the EAGLE and Mycroft satellites.

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 approximately 14,000 people across the U.S. and in several international locations.