ATK (Clearfield, Utah, USA) reported on Aug. 30 that its composite technology supported the successful Aug. 30 launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., USA.
The ULA Atlas V rocket launched the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission for NASA. RBSP is designed to help understand the Sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the Earth's radiation belts on various scales of space and time. The rocket flew in the 401 vehicle configuration with a 4m/13.1-ft fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage, with no solid rocket boosters.
Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10-ft/3m diameter composite heat shield that provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle, fabricated by ATK at its Clearfield, Utah, facility. This is the 32nd Atlas V launch using ATKbuilt composite structures.