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News

ATK GEM-40 Solid Propulsion Strap-On Boosters - NASA THEMIS


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ATK
: 19 February, 2007  (Application Story)
ATK Composite and Propulsion Technologies Help Launch NASA THEMIS Satellite
Alliant Techsystems propulsion and composite technologies supported Saturday's successful launch of the United Launch Alliance's Delta II Rocket carrying NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellites. Five spacecraft make up the THEMIS configuration.

Nine GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured in ATK's Salt Lake City, Utah facility provided augmented thrust for the launch. ATK's Clearfield, Utah facility produced the composite cases for the GEM-40 boosters using an automated filament winding process developed and refined through its 40-year-heritage in composite manufacturing. Six of the boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine and provided over 850,000 pound maximum thrust for the launch vehicle. Just over one minute later, the remaining three boosters ignited to provide an additional 450,000 pound maximum thrust. The spent motors were jettisoned from the Rocket as it continued its ascent.

Following burnout and separation of the GEM-40 boosters and the rocket's liquid second stage, an ATK-produced STARô 48B third-stage Rocket motor completed payload separation approximately 58 minutes into flight.

The five THEMIS satellites were encapsulated by a 10 ft. diameter composite fairing manufactured by ATK in Iuka, Miss. This launch marked the seventh ATK 10 foot composite fairing flown on a Delta II mission.
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