ATK Celebrates 20th Atlas V Space Launch

17 February 2010

Alliant Techsystems' composite technology supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida earlier this week. The launch placed NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory into orbit.

Using advanced fibre placement manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10 foot diameter composite heat shield that provides protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle.

This is the 20th Atlas V launch using ATK built composite structures.

ATK's composite technologies have been used in several space launch vehicles, including the Atlas V, Delta II and Delta IV. The company also manufactures composite components for military and commercial aircraft.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission to be launched for NASA's ""Living With a Star"" program, which is designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to aid in understanding the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

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