ATK Delivers First Flight Composite Structure for Lockheed Martin Atlas V Launch Vehicle
ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Company, Clearfield, UT, has delivered the first flight composite structure for the Atlas V family of space launch vehicles to Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, CO. The composite heat shield, which was produced at ATK's composites center in Clearfield, will be integrated into the first Atlas V launch vehicle at Lockheed Martin's Waterton Canyon facility just outside of Denver. The heat shield, which measures 10 feet in diameter, mounts to the aft transition structure and surrounds the RD-180 engine at the aft end of the Atlas V vehicle. ATK was selected by Lockheed Martin in 2000 to produce three separate structures for the Atlas V, which is designed to meet the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) requirements. Atlas V will achieve initial launch capability in early 2002. In addition to heat shield, ATK is fabricating composite Centaur interstage adapters (CISAs) and boattails for the Atlas V. Qualification units of those structures were shipped to Lockheed Martin in December 2000, with the first flight units scheduled for delivery in February 2002.