ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
said a rocket nozzle for the Boeing RS-68 engine developed by Thiokol
Propulsion Corp., Brigham City, Utah, has successfully completed a series of
static tests conducted by Boeing at the NASA Stennis Space Center, Miss., and
the Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The tests
culminated with a 303-second firing at mixed power levels and a 300-second
test at full power for 20 percent longer than is required during flight.

The RS-68 is the largest liquid-oxygen and liquid-hydrogen engine in the
world and the first new rocket engine designed in the U.S. since the Space
Shuttle main engine.
The engine was designed by Boeing Rocketdyne Propulsion
and Power and will provide first-stage propulsion for the Boeing Delta IV
launch vehicle, scheduled for its maiden voyage in 2002.

Thiokol has been building nozzles for solid propulsion motors since the
late 1950s.
The company was awarded a contract from Boeing for engineering
and manufacturing development of the RS-68 nozzle in 1998.
The Boeing RS-68
engine is the first use of Thiokol nozzles in a liquid engine application.

Thiokol’s RS-68 nozzle is constructed of composite phenolic materials
exposed to gas temperatures in excess of 6,000 degrees F.
Each test evaluated
the performance and overall dynamic response in this severe environment.
nozzle test firings are planned over the next several months as part of the
flight certification program.

Thiokol Propulsion Corp., one of four operating companies within ATK’s
Aerospace Group, was acquired by ATK from Alcoa, Inc. in April 2001.
company is a leading supplier of propulsion systems for space launch vehicles
and tactical missile systems.

ATK is a $1.6 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions
in munitions, precision capabilities, propulsion and composite structures.
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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