Two Alliant Techsystems Orion motors performed flawlessly in this weekend’s successful flight of a Minotaur launch vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The launch placed a constellation of six microsatellites into orbit. The satellites will collect data for weather prediction, and ionosphere, climate and gravity research. This data will be available to the international scientific community in near real-time.

ATK supplied the Orion 50XL and Orion 38 motors used as Minotaur’s third and fourth stages, respectively. In addition to being used on the Minotaur launch vehicle produced under the U.S. Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital program, Orion motors are used on the highly successful, air-launched Pegasus vehicle.

ATK also provided the Minotaur’s carbon fiber composite payload fairing assemblies that protect the microsatellites during launch. The fairings separate approximately 110 seconds into flight.

ATK is a $3.3 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at .