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ATK Composite Structure Flies On Atlas V (Aug. 23)

MINNEAPOLIS --- An ATK composite structure flew into space on the new Lockheed Martin Atlas V 400 rocket yesterday, as the largest and most powerful member of the Atlas family of launch vehicles made its inaugural launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

ATK Composites, Clearfield, Utah, manufactured the 12-foot diameter heat shield assembly, which surrounds the Atlas V 400 RD-180 main engine. The company also manufactures the composite Centaur interstage adapter and boattail, which are components on the Atlas V 500 rocket scheduled to fly for the first time later this year. The parts are fabricated at the company's Utah Composites Center in Clearfield and Southern Composites Center in Iuka, Miss.

In its first mission, the Atlas V rocket successfully placed the newest Eutelsat Hot Bird satellite into supersynchronous transfer orbit, where it will deliver analogue and digital television channels to viewers in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Lockheed Martin developed the Atlas V rocket to meet the needs of the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program and the growing needs of International Launch Services (ILS) for its commercial and government satellite customers throughout the world. ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and the Russian firms Khrunichev and Energia.

ATK is the largest producer of filament-wound and fiber-placed composite structures in the U.S., with manufacturing facilities in Magna, Utah; Clearfield, Utah; Iuka, Miss.; Rocket Center, W. Va.; and Huntsville, Ala. The company produces structures for military and commercial aircraft, space launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, and weapons systems.

ATK is a $2.1 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 11,300 people and has three business groups: Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition.

ATK Composite Structure Flies Into Space On Atlas V Rocket