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Orbital ATK provided composite structures for the Delta IV rocket and WGS-7 satellite

News International-French

11 Aug 2015

The company provided propulsion, composite and spacecraft technologies to enable the launch of both the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV vehicle and the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-7) satellite that launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Both the satellite and Delta IV launch vehicle use cutting-edge technologies from multiple Orbital ATK facilities. For the WGS-7 satellite, Orbital ATK provided thermal control hardware manufactured at Orbital ATK's Beltsville, Maryland, facility. 

For the Delta IV rocket, Orbital ATK provided four 60-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM-60). The 53-foot-long solid rocket boosters burned for 90 seconds and provided more than 1.1 million pounds of thrust. Orbital ATK produced the solid rocket motors at its Magna, Utah, facility, where it has manufactured 72 GEM-60s for the Delta IV launch vehicle since the initial flight in 2002.

The company also supplied a combined eighteen Delta IV and GEM-60 key composite structures, which provide lower weight and higher performance. The largest composite structures are four to five meters in diameter, range from one to eight meters in length, and are produced using either advanced wet winding or hand layup, machining and inspection techniques at Orbital ATK’s manufacturing facilities in Iuka, Mississippi, and Clearfield, Utah.

Additionally, Orbital ATK manufactured the propellant tank for the Delta IV upper stage roll control system at the company’s Commerce, California, facility, and it designed and manufactured the nozzle for Delta IV's RS-68A engine at its Promontory, Utah, facility. Orbital ATK also designed and produced the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding the nozzle from the extreme heat of launch, when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The WGS-7 satellite is part of a larger system that increases military communications capabilities for U.S. and allied forces deployed worldwide. The system helps support the exchange of information, execution of tactical command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

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