Company to Provide Advanced Propulsion System for Increased Safety
for Future Astronaut Crews
MAGNA, UtahJul. 7, 2015--
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that is has signed a $98 million agreement
with Lockheed Martin to provide the launch abort motor for the Orion
human spaceflight capsule s Launch Abort System (LAS). The Orion
spacecraft will launch aboard NASA s Space Launch System (SLS), enabling
humans to explore new deep space destinations.
Orbital ATK has signed a $98M agreement with Lockheed Martin to provide the launch abort motor for NASA s Orion human spaceflight capsule. Shown during test fire, the launch abort motor will ensure crew safety when Orion flies aboard NASA s Space Launch System. (Photo: Business Wire)
The launch abort motor, manufactured at Orbital ATK facilities in Magna,
Promontory and Clearfield, Utah, is a powerful solid rocket motor
designed to ensure crew safety. Orion s LAS is a unique safety feature,
similar to an ejection seat found in a fighter jet. If an emergency were
to occur at the launch pad, or during lift-off and ascent, the abort
system would rapidly lift the capsule and crew away from the rocket.
Orbital ATK is proud to be a key contributor to the Orion program and
to astronaut safety, said Fred Brasfield, Vice President of Orbital
ATK s NASA Propulsion Programs. The benefit of using a solid launch
abort motor is being able to transport the crew far from harm s way in
milliseconds, should the need arise.
Under the recently signed agreement, the primary objective is to
complete design, development, test and qualification of the abort motor.
Major milestones in the process include structural tests, loads tests,
igniter open air tests, and motor static firing tests. These tests will
ultimately qualify the abort motor for operational flight missions. The
agreement with Lockheed Martin provides funding for the launch abort
motor through the second launch of Orion on SLS, Exploration Mission-2.
Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK s
Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut, has
nothing but praise for Orion s LAS system. As a former astronaut, I
firmly believe in the need for a robust launch abort system. Orbital
ATK s launch abort motor greatly increases the level of safety for
The second flight test of the LAS, dubbed AA-2, is scheduled for GFY19.
AA-2 will test the full capability of the launch abort system in a high
altitude abort test.
Under a separate contract with Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK also
provides the LAS attitude control motor. This motor is manufactured at
the company s Elkton, Maryland facility.
Orion and SLS will launch on their first joint mission, Exploration
Mission-1, in just a few years. The next major milestones for SLS
include Boeing s Vertical Assembly Center core stage welding, continued
testing of Aerojet Rocketdyne s RS-25 engine at NASA s Stennis Space
Center, avionics and controls testing at Marshall Space Flight Center,
and Orbital ATK s second qualification test of a five-segment solid
rocket motor (QM-2) next year.
The SLS and Orion programs are supported by a network of hundreds of
suppliers representing 47 states. Orbital ATK has 29 key SLS booster
suppliers across 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut,
Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK, Inc.
Kay Anderson, 435-230-2787
Lead Public Relations
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor