ATK conducted a ribbon-cutting of their new rocketry exhibit at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City February 27. As part of this event, a panel discussing NASA’s Space Launch System was held and a press conference conducted. More than 1,000 students had the opportunity to build an SLS rocket – electronically – and launch it, thanks to NASA who brought their traveling interactive exhibit to town for a week. NASA also brought a photo kiosk where attendees could take a photo of themselves as an astronaut, launching on a rocket.
ATK’s new rocketry display highlights Utah’s pivotal role in NASA’s deep space exploration plans. The debut afforded museum goers the rare opportunity to rub shoulders with astronauts, including Tony Antonelli, (pictured) and ATK’s vice president of Space Launch Division, and four-time shuttle astronaut, Charlie Precourt. News release
ATK’s Space Launch System (SLS) booster program is on schedule to meet NASA’s 2017 launch date for first flight of SLS. This year ATK will conduct a full-scale ground test as well as component design reviews.
NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond Earth orbit, and enable humans to visit an asteroid and eventually Mars. Designed to be flexible for crew or cargo missions, the two will provide a safe, affordable and sustainable way to continue America’s journey of discovery from the unique vantage point of space.
“The events happening this year are incredibly important steps in the development of NASA’s deep space vehicles,” said Charlie Precourt, general manager and vice president for ATK Space Launch Division, and former four-time shuttle astronaut. “SLS and Orion are redefining what is possible for human space exploration as we prepare the way for those first boot prints on Mars.” Read more
ATK and NASA successfully tested a proof-of-concept STAR 48GXV motor for the Solar Probe Plus mission, which will enter the sun’s atmosphere to study the streams of charged particles the sun hurls into space. The STAR 48GXV solid-fuel third stage will provide the boost needed to assist the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft in escaping Earth’s orbit to begin its approach of the sun.
Solar Probe Plus is scheduled to launch in 2018 on an Atlas V rocket. ATK’s STAR 48GXV motor is based on the venerable STAR 48BV rocket, with roots dating back to the late 1970s and hundreds of successful Delta II-class missions. The new STAR 48GXV motor incorporates many new technologies, including lightweight composite case and exit cone materials, and advanced thrust vector controls.
ATK employees and family members at ATK’s Magna, Utah facility celebrated the completion and imminent delivery of the James Webb Space Telescope Primary Mirror Backplane Support Structures (PMBSS) August 15 with an event that included tours of the facility where the telescope was made and several guest speakers. Earlier in the day the Salt Lake City radio station KUER aired a story about the Magna facility’s contribution to the Webb Telescope program.
ATK exhibited its advanced solar array technologies at NASA Tech Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. July 23. The ATK display highlighted technology advancements necessary to optimize the disk-shaped UltraFlex™ solar array for NASA’s Exploration Mission. ATK also featured a full-size, seven-foot diameter hardware unit made of ultra-lightweight materials that provide high strength and stiffness as well as compact stowage volume. The display was the same design as the array flown on the Mars Phoenix Lander mission. A scaled-up version of UltraFlex, named MegaFlex, represents a key enabling technology for solar electric propulsion (SEP), which is essential for future science, exploration and human missions into deep space.
It was an exciting weekend at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex June 28-30, as the new Atlantis exhibit was unveiled.
A VIP program and exhibit viewing was held Friday night, and many astronauts who flew on Atlantis were on hand for that event, as well as Saturday morning for the official ribbon-cutting. ATK executives and former astronauts Charlie Precourt and Brian Duffy were in attendance for the activities, and were among astronauts honored at the event.
NASA and Space Launch System partners interacted with guests of the Visitor Complex throughout the weekend, sharing exciting information about SLS progress and upcoming milestones.
ATK representatives handed out paper SLS rocket models, fact sheets, rocket scientist bumper stickers and SLS book marks to interested guests.