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Alliant Techsystems composite technologies supported Wednesday’s successful launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-N (GOES-N) to an orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.
GOES-N, a joint effort between NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will monitor atmospheric conditions that act as triggers for severe weather conditions such as tornados, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.
ATK designed and produced the nozzle for the Delta IV’s RS-68 engine as well as the nozzle’s thermal protection material, capable of shielding it from the extreme heat of launch when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees F.
ATK supplied seven key composite structures for the launch vehicle: the thermal shield that houses the RS-68 main engine, the centerbody structure that connects the liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks of the CBC, the skirt structure that connects the CBC to the vehicle interstage, the interstage that interfaces the 5 meter diameter CBC with the 4 meter diameter upper stage and payload, the payload attach fitting (PAF) and diaphragm (PAFD) that interface the upper stage with the payload, and the payload fairing that houses the spacecraft.
The structures, which range from 4 to 5 meters (13.1 to 16.6 ft) in diameter and up to 8 meters (26 feet) in length, are produced using advanced hand layup manufacturing techniques at the company’s manufacturing facility in Iuka, Miss.
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