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© fergregory dreamstime.com Electronics Production | July 27, 2015

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches WGS-7

Orbital ATK provided propulsion, composite and spacecraft technologies to enable the successful launch of both the United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle and the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-7) satellite that launched July 23.
“Orbital ATK’s contributions to the launch vehicle and satellite demonstrate the broad range of reliable systems we offer,” said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “Our integrated products play a key role in delivering increased communications capabilities to U.S. and allied forces.”

Both the satellite and Delta IV launch vehicle use cutting-edge technologies from multiple Orbital ATK facilities. For the WGS-7 satellite, Orbital ATK provided thermal control hardware manufactured at Orbital ATK's Beltsville, Maryland, facility.

For the Delta IV rocket, Orbital ATK provided four 60-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM-60). The 53-foot-long solid rocket boosters burned for 90 seconds and provided more than 1.1 million pounds of thrust. Orbital ATK produced the solid rocket motors at its Magna, Utah, facility, where it has manufactured 72 GEM-60s for the Delta IV launch vehicle since the initial flight in 2002.

Orbital ATK also supplied a combined eighteen Delta IV and GEM-60 key composite structures, which provide lower weight and higher performance. The largest composite structures are four to five meters in diameter, range from one to eight meters in length, and are produced using either advanced wet winding or hand layup, machining and inspection techniques at Orbital ATK’s manufacturing facilities in Iuka, Mississippi, and Clearfield, Utah.

Additionally, Orbital ATK manufactured the propellant tank for the Delta IV upper stage roll control system at the company’s Commerce, California, facility, and it designed and manufactured the nozzle for Delta IV's RS-68A engine at its Promontory, Utah, facility. Orbital ATK also designed and produced the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding the nozzle from the extreme heat of launch, when external temperatures can exceed 4'000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The WGS-7 satellite is part of a larger system that increases military communications capabilities for U.S. and allied forces deployed worldwide.

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