SALT LAKE CITY, Utah --- Alliant Techsystems recently completed a successful on-pad assembly, or pathfinder operation, of an ATK-designed launch vehicle, the ALV. This significant milestone keeps the company on schedule to fly its first mission -- designated ALV X-1 -- in 2007.
Next year's ALV X-1 flight is part of ATK's plan to develop a low-cost launch vehicle for the operational responsive space (ORS) market. Possible ORS programs include the delivery of small payloads to low-earth orbit in support of DOD missions, NASA scientific missions, and commercial and university satellite programs.
"The completion of our pathfinder operation builds on last year's successful sounding rocket flight test and brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of developing an affordable launch vehicle that supports numerous military, scientific and commercial missions," said Charlie Precourt, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, ATK Launch Systems Group. "By incorporating off-the-shelf components and technologies into the program and minimizing ground support requirements, we believe ATK can offer our customers a reliable and low life-cycle cost launch vehicle."
During its inaugural flight, the ALV will carry a hypersonic boundary layer transition experiment (Hy-BoLT) payload sponsored by NASA's Hypersonics Project within the Fundamental Aeronautics Program. A secondary payload consisting of a suborbital aerodynamic re-entry experiment (SOAREX) is being developed by NASA Ames. The inaugural flight of the ALV will be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility.
ATK is a $3.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 22 states.
ATK Completes Successful Pathfinder for Its New Launch Vehicle