ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
said rocket motors manufactured by its Aerospace Group for The Boeing Company
played a dual role in the successful launch on June 30 of a NASA satellite
that will probe the deepest mysteries of the universe.

Four GEM-40 solid propellant strap-on motors built by ATK Aerospace
Propulsion Company provided the first-stage boost to a Boeing Delta II rocket
carrying NASA’s Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) satellite.
86 minutes after the launch, a Thiokol STAR(TM) 48B third-stage motor
manufactured by ATK Missile Products Company thrust the MAP satellite toward
its orbit beyond the moon.

NASA scientists will use data from the MAP satellite to determine the
content, shape, history, and ultimate fate of the universe by constructing a
full-sky picture of the oldest light in the cosmos — the afterglow of the Big
Bang, which comes from a time well before there were any stars, galaxies, or
It will take about 18 months to build the full-sky picture and
perform the analysis.

ATK’s GEM-40 boosters are manufactured at ATK Aerospace Propulsion
Company’s facility in Magna, Utah.
The Thiokol STAR 48B motors are produced
at ATK Missile Product Company’s Elkton Operations in Elkton, Md.

ATK has a long history of involvement with NASA programs.
The company’s
solid propulsion rocket motors have supported numerous NASA space missions
launched by the Delta, Titan IV B, Pegasus® and Taurus® vehicles, while
its advanced composite materials have been used to fabricate spacecraft
structures such as the optical benches on the Hubble Space Telescope.
the recent acquisition of Thiokol Propulsion — the supplier of the Space
Shuttle’s reusable solid rocket motors — NASA is now one of ATK’s largest

ATK Aerospace Propulsion Company and ATK Missile Products Company are
operating companies within ATK’s Aerospace Group.

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 segments:
Aerospace and Defense.
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