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ATK Composite and Propulsion Technologies Help Launch GPS IIF-4 Satellite
May 15, 2013 (07:05 PM EDT)
ARLINGTON, Va., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) provided critical hardware for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V that launched the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-4 satellite today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
GPS IIF-4 is the fourth satellite delivered by prime contractor Boeing as part of the GPS IIF contract for 12 next-generation GPS space vehicles. GPS IIF satellites continue to modernize the GPS constellation while providing positioning, navigation and timing services to civil and military users worldwide.
"ATK is proud to provide technologies that enabled the launch of the GPS IIF-4 satellite, which will bring enhanced capabilities to our soldiers and allies as well as civil users," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Aerospace Group. "Our support to this mission comes from all corners of ATK and highlights the broad cooperation we have with ULA."
For the ULA Atlas V rocket, ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, which provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle. The assembly was fabricated using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at ATK's Iuka, Miss., facility. This is the 38th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures.
The Atlas V rocket flew in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. ATK manufactured the Reaction Control System propellant tank for the Atlas V at its Commerce, Calif., facility.
ATK also recently completed qualification of a new retrorocket, and eight of those solid motors supported separation of the spent first stage. The Atlas retrorocket is built at ATK's Elkton, Md., facility.
The Block IIF series will replace the GPS Block IIA satellites that were launched between 1990 and 1997. The IIF space vehicles provide improved accuracy, enhanced internal atomic clocks, better anti-jam resistance, a civil signal for commercial aviation and a longer design life.
ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.