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NASA bypasses Utah’s ATK for post-shuttle vehicle contract
Technology » Project could have sustained “thousands of jobs.”

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At a glance

ATK’s Liberty rocket system

What is it? » It’s a 300-foot-tall, two-stage rocket system designed to be a low-cost method to put people and equipment into space. It was developed by Alliant Techsystems.

How it would be used » It was designed with a crew module and originally scheduled to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station.

The team » The Liberty team spans 10 states, including Utah, and was expected to sustain thousands of jobs and create 600 new jobs, according to ATK.

First flights » It was originally scheduled to conduct its first unmanned test flights in 2014 and 2015, followed by the first manned flight in late 2015. If it had been selected by NASA, it would have made its first commercial flights to the International Space Station in 2016.

Future of the project » ATK says it needs to be debriefed by NASA before it can make any decisions on the long-term prospects for the program.

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Bloomberg News and The Associated Press contributed to this story

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