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ATK Motors Launch Shuttle Atlantis (Apr. 10)



MINNEAPOLIS --- Two reusable solid rocket motors manufactured by ATK's Aerospace Group helped launch NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., yesterday on the 13th Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Manufactured by ATK Thiokol Propulsion, Promontory, Utah -- the world's leading supplier of solid propellant rocket motors -- the Space Shuttle reusable solid rocket motor (RSRM) is the largest solid rocket motor ever flown and the first designed for reuse. Key facts about the RSRM:

-- Each RSRM consists of 11 case segments designed for reuse up to 20 launches or static tests.
-- The RSRMs provide 71 percent of thrust at liftoff and during first-stage ascent.
-- From ignition to end of burn, each RSRM generates an average thrust of 2.6 million pounds and burns for approximately 124 seconds.
-- Each motor is just over 126 feet long and 12 feet in diameter. The entire booster including nose cap, frustum, and forward and aft skirts is approximately 149 feet long. Of the motor's total approximate weight of 1.25 million pounds, propellant accounts for approximately 1.1 million pounds.
-- By the time the RSRMs have completed their task, the Space Shuttle orbiter has reached an altitude of 24 nautical miles and is traveling at a speed in excess of 3,000 miles per hour.
-- With safety, quality, and reliability as their primary objectives, engineers from ATK Thiokol Propulsion direct approximately 110,000 quality-control inspections on each RSRM flight set.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will deliver the first segment of the International Space Station's exterior truss, the centerpiece of the station's exterior framework. Astronauts from Atlantis will conduct four space walks to install the truss. They will also install the station's Mobile Transporter, which will later be attached to a base system that will allow a robotic arm to ride along the exterior truss to perform assembly and maintenance work. The mission is scheduled to end with the landing of Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center on April 19.

ATK is a $2 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 11,600 people and has three business groups: Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition.

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ATK Motors Launch Shuttle Atlantis On Mission To International Space Station