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News

ATK - Five-Time Shuttle Astronaut Leads Team in Huntsville


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ATK
: 13 November, 2006  (New Product)
Jim Halsell Joins ATK as Vice President and Program Manager of ARES I Upper Stage Team.
Team Consists of ATK Launch Systems, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

James Halsell, former NASA Astronaut andspace shuttle program launch integration manager, has been named Vice President and Program Manager of the ATK-led ARES I Upper Stage team, based in Huntsville, Alabama.

In September, ATK Launch Systems Group, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & WhitneyRocketdyne announced a teaming agreement to join forces in pursuit of NASA's ARES I Upper Stage procurement, planned for early 2007. Halsell's main responsibilities will be to lead the team's Joint Program Office for this effort.

'Jim brings extensive program leadership, technical understanding, and 'hands on' flight experience to this position,' said Ron Dittemore, President of ATK Launch Systems Group. 'His strong leadership, background and qualifications will be a perfect fit to lead this highly skilled team.'

Halsell's background includes more than 20 years of experience working with NASA in various leadership positions. His leadership roles included serving as Manager of Shuttle Launch Integration, leading NASA's Shuttle Return-to-Flight planning team, and most recently serving as Assistant

Director for Aircraft and Flight Crew Operations. As an astronaut, Halsell flew on five Space Shuttle flights, two of which he served as pilot and three as the commander, logging over 1,250 hours in space.

The three companies have developed a complementary relationship for this Upper Stage effort, and will leverage their experience, capabilities and expertise on NASA Human Space Flight programs to provide the ARES I project a springboard to minimize program costs, maintain aggressive development and test schedules, and reduce the technical risk going forward.

As a team, the three companies are natural partners for this upper stage effort because of the ARES I work already under way -- and the interrelationships between those efforts. The ARES I team members possess unparalleled experience in system and subsystem design, development, manufacturing, integration, test, and risk management for human-rated hardware and have participated in every U.S. human space flight program in some capacity throughout NASA's history. That experience, coupled with new state-of-the-art processes and technologies, will provide the necessary elements to meet the challenges that lie ahead. 'By combining our core competencies and working together in a seamless manner, along with our current roles on the ARES I program, we can significantly reduce integration issues and system complexity -- and help NASA achieve the Vision for Space Exploration at this critical point in the program. Jim Halsell will be key to enabling our success,' added Dittemore.

Halsell began his career in the U.S. Air Force as an F-4 pilot qualified in conventional and nuclear weapons delivery. He later became a test pilot and flew the F-4, F-16 and SR-71 aircraft. He holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master of science in management from the Troy University and a master in science in space operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

ATK is a $3.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing

approximately 15,000 people in 22 states.
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