ATK composite technology supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
The ULA Atlas V rocket launched the U. S. Military's third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a prototype space plane. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations (CONOPS) development for a long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. The rocket flew in the 501 vehicle configuration with a 5.4m fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage, with no solid rocket boosters.
Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10ft diameter composite heat shield that provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle, the 10ft diameter Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) and the 18ft diameter boat tail that connects the CISA to the payload fairing. The parts were fabricated by ATK at its Iuka, MS, and Clearfield, UT, facilities.
The Reaction Control System (RCS) propellant tank for the Atlas V rocket was manufactured at ATK's Commerce, CA, facility. This is the 34th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures.