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Composite Technology Supports First Atlas V Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

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: 16 March, 2008  (Application Story)
ATK's Heat Shield and Base Plate Protect Launch Vehicle During Ascent
Alliant Techsystems' composite technology supported today's successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

This was the first ever Atlas V launch from this facility. The launch placed
a classified payload into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office

Using advanced fiber manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10' diameter
composite heatshield and baseplate that provide essential protection for the
first stage of the launch vehicle. The heatshield and baseplate were
fabricated by ATK at its Clearfield, Utah facility. This is the 13th Atlas V
launch using ATK built composite structures.

ATK's composite technologies deliver superior performance for numerous space
launch vehicles, including the Atlas V, Delta II and Delta IV. Composite
structures are lighter weight than traditional metal alloys yet offer
increased strength. The company also manufactures numerous composite
components for military and commercial aircraft.

'We are pleased that our products performed as designed in support of the
NRO's critical mission,' said Mark Messick, General Manager and Vice
President, ATK Aerospace Structures.
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