ATK win CLV contract

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) have been confirmed by NASA as the prime contractor to design, develop, test, and evaluate the First Stage propulsion system for its Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), the prelude and first element towards the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) – which will return astronauts to the Moon around 2018.

The CLV – which is set for test flights in 2008 – incorporates the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) technology that is current used for the first two minutes of ascent with the Space Shuttle.

The CLV – which is set for test flights in 2008 – incorporates the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) technology that is current used for the first two minutes of ascent with the Space Shuttle.

Primarily based on Ohio, the weapons and space system manufacturer was never in any real doubt of winning the contract, following NASA administrator Mike Griffin’s unveiling of the systems that will replace the Space Shuttle fleet, which are due to retire in 2010.

“ATK possesses the facilities, manufacturing capability, and engineering and manufacturing workforce to successfully manufacture the CLV First Stage as a single prime contractor,’ noted NASA in their announcement.

The CLV will be capable of carrying out primary missions of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), as well as being inter-changeable with small payloads.

The contract’s value is unknown, but does cover current obligations towards the final stage of Space Shuttle missions, currently 19 remaining flights. The secondary element ensures ATK’s role with the new CLV/CEV and the winning contractor of the CEV Second stage and crew module.

“By expanding ATK’s role on CLV to a First Stage prime contractor, we are working in support of NASA’s space vision to develop reliable, proven and affordable access to space,” said Dan Murphy, ATK Chairman and CEO announced to the stock market.

“This new opportunity for ATK is in addition to our work on the Space Shuttle program and ATK’s efforts to support the prime contractor teams competing to develop the Crew Exploration Vehicle.”

Opportunities for additional scope on space exploration missions include crew escape designs, lunar-lander systems, thermal and radiation shielding, and advanced lightweight materials.

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