Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Rocket launch includes key parts from Utah’s ATK sites
Payloads » Mission carries defense satellite into space.
First Published Apr 04 2012 02:06 pm • Last Updated Aug 05 2012 11:31 pm

ATK facilities in Utah played a manufacturing role in this week’s launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying a national defense satellite from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The rocket was provided by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Atlas and Delta teams formed in 2006 to provide the U.S. government with cost-efficient and reliable access to space.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

ATK produced the two graphite epoxy motors, known as GEMs. The 70-foot-long, 60-inch-diameter motors ignited at lift-off Tuesday, burned for 90 seconds and delivered 560,000 pounds of thrust to propel the national defense payload into orbit.

The ATK facility in Promontory manufactures the heat-resistant nozzle for the rocket’s first-stage hydrogen-powered engine. External temperatures at launch can exceed 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATK supplied a total of nine composite structures for the launch vehicle, some as large as 5 meters in diameter and 1 to 15 meters in length. Hardware for those structures came from ATK’s Clearfield facility.

The rocket’s payload is part of a National Reconnaissance Office mission, the first of five such launches over the next four months, according to United Launch Alliance. The NRO is the agency tasked with producing and maintaining the nation’s intelligence satellites.

In a statement, Jim Sponnick, ULA’s vice president over mission operations, said the rocket will deliver "critical capabilities to the men and women defending our freedom throughout the world."

In addition to Utah’s ATK sites, the aerospace, defense, and commercial products company operates facilities in 21 other states, Puerto Rico, and internationally.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.