MINNEAPOLIS, 20 June 2009. Alliant Techsystems assisted in the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)/Lunar CRater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The company not only provided engineering services and various systems and structures for the LRO spacecraft, but also will support the mission team post-launch. This is the 16th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures.
ATK, one of the largest support contractors for the mission, provided critical systems engineering, mission assurance, thermal, mechanical, and guidance, navigation and control (GNC) systems support. ATK also provided key support in the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, and testing of most of the major spacecraft subsystems.
"ATK touched nearly every subsystem on this spacecraft," says Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager of Spacecraft Systems and Services for ATK Space Systems. "Our contributions are integral to the entire flight segment, and we are honored to be partners with Goddard Space Flight Center on this important mission."
Several ATK locations worked together to support the LRO mission. ATK manufactured the structural panels, solar array substrates, propulsion primary deck, deployable subsystem components, and heat pipes at its Beltsville, Md. facility. The heat pipes were then integrated into the Iso-Thermal Avionics panel and the primary spacecraft radiator at ATK's Corona, Calif., facility. ATK manufactured the RCS propellant tank for the mission at its Commerce, Calif. facility. Additionally, at its Clearfield, Utah, facility, ATK fabricated the 10-foot diameter composite heatshield and baseplate that provide essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle.
The LRO spacecraft will travel to the Moon and spend at least a year in a low polar orbit collecting detailed information about the lunar environment.