Alliant Techsystems played a key role in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket today from NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying the NOAA-N Prime satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ATK manufactured the three GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters that ignited with the Delta II first-stage main engine at liftoff. The boosters provided 336,000 pounds of maximum thrust helping carry the NOAA-N Prime satellite to its required orbit.

ATK manufactured the GEM-40 motors at its facility in Magna, Utah, continuing a tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990. The composite cases for the GEM-40 boosters were produced at ATK’s Clearfield, Utah, facility and are made of graphite epoxy material (GEM).

ATK supplied the 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing, encapsulating the third stage, which includes the payload. The fairing was produced using advanced hand layup manufacturing techniques at the company’s manufacturing facility in Iuka, Miss.

The NOAA-N Prime payload is the latest polar-orbiting operational environmental weather satellite developed by NASA for NOAA. The satellite will provide a platform to support environmental monitoring instruments for imaging and measuring the Earth’s atmosphere, its surface and cloud cover, including Earth radiation, atmospheric ozone, aerosol distribution, sea surface temperature and vertical temperature and water profiles.

In addition to manufacturing components for the Delta II rocket, ATK produces solid propulsion systems and composite structures for the Delta IV launch vehicle, manufactured by ULA; Taurus, Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles, manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation; as well as the U.S. Navy’s Trident II fleet ballistic missile.

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and $4.5 billion in revenue. News and information can be found on the Internet at