AASC to build Taurus II composite launch vehicle components

Applied Aerospace Structures Corp. will build five honeycomb-cored composite structures for the Taurus II launch vehicle.

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Allied Aerospace Structures Corp. (AASC, Stockton, Calif.) was awarded a contract by Orbital Sciences Corp. (Dulles, Va.) to manufacture the composite structures for the Taurus II space launch vehicle. The Taurus II is designed as a cost-effective two-stage launch vehicle for reliable delivery into space of either single or multiple payloads weighing up to 12,000 lb/5,454 kg. The contract, currently in final negotiations, could call for as many as five shipsets per year.

The largest of the structures, the 12.6-ft/3.9m diameter by 32.3-ft/10m long payload fairing, consists of honeycomb core and composite facesheets. Along with the fairing, AASC also will manufacture the fairing adaptor, the stage 2 motor adaptor, the stage 2 interstage, the payload adaptor and the avionics cylinder (see inset photo) in its 245,000 ft2 (22,760m2) Stockton facility, with deliveries beginning late this year. The first mission launch will take place in 2010.

With approximately 240 employees, AASC designs and fabricates critical, lightweight, high-performance, engineered structural assemblies for the aerospace industry. The company is ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 third-party certified and has been in business since 1956.