ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
said it has been awarded a basic contract with options totaling a potential
$11 million from McDonnell Douglas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of
The Boeing Company, to study technology concepts for a composite cryogenic
fuel tank that could be used on a next-generation reusable launch vehicle
(RLV) under development by NASA in the first phase of its Space Launch
Initiative (SLI).

SLI is a five-year program to develop technologies and the business case
for a new RLV that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space while
substantially increasing safety and reliability.
In May, Boeing was awarded a
$136 million SLI contract from NASA to study airframe, vehicle subsystems,
operations, and propulsion concepts that could lead to advanced technologies
for eventual application to a specific RLV design.

ATK’s composite technology study work under its three-year contract will
be conducted by ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Company at its facilities
in Clearfield, Utah, and Iuka, Miss.

“Our composite structures team is looking forward to participating in this
major new initiative, which could lead to significant advances in space
exploration and transportation,” said Travis E. Campbell, president, ATK
Aerospace Composite Structures Company.
“As a leader in the design and
fabrication of large composite structures for aerospace applications, we are
confident that we can make an important contribution to the Boeing SLI team.”

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is leading the Space Launch
Initiative, with all NASA field centers also participating in the effort.
Air Force Research Laboratory and research and development facilities at nine
U.S. Air Force bases are also involved in the initiative.

Composite structures represent one of four ATK core competencies, or Lanes
of Excellence, that form the foundation of the company’s strategy for growth.
ATK operates more composite fiber placement machines than any other supplier
in the world, and is also an industry leader in both hand lay-up and
filament-wound composite structures.

ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Company is one of four operating
companies within ATK’s Aerospace Group, which comprises the corporation’s
propulsion and composite structures operations.

ATK is a $1.6 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions
in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities.
The company, which is headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., employs approximately
10,000 people and has two business groups:
Aerospace and Defense.
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