ATK Successfully Ground Tests New CASTOR 30XL Upper Stage Solid Rocket Motor

Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:06am EDT

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Motor will be used for NASA Commercial and Government Launch Vehicles
ARLINGTON, Va.,  March 28, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) successfully
tested its newly developed CASTOR 30XL upper stage solid rocket motor today at
the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) in 


The test was the final qualification for the ATK commercial motor, which was
jointly developed by ATK and Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) in just 20
months from concept to completion. The CASTOR 30XL is designed to ignite at
altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. In order to accurately test the motor
performance, the static fire was conducted at AEDC using a vacuum chamber
specially designed to simulate upper atmospheric conditions. Initial data
indicate the motor performed as designed, and ATK will now analyze the results
against its performance models.

"I am very pleased with our successful CASTOR 30XL test," said  Scott Lehr, ATK
vice president and general manager of Defense and Commercial Systems. "In less
than two years, the ATK/Orbital team designed and built the motor that was fired
today. We look forward to seeing this stage become part of the Antares launch
vehicle, supporting ISS cargo resupply missions for NASA."

The motor is intended for use by Orbital as an enhanced second stage of the
Antares launch vehicle. Antares is slated to perform commercial cargo re-supply
missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA, to be demonstrated
under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program for later delivery
missions to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services contract.  

The CASTOR 30XL solid rocket motor is 92 inches in diameter, 236 inches in
length and weighs approximately 58,000 lbs. The nozzle is eight feet long with a
submerged design with a high-performance expansion ratio (56:1) and a dual
density exit cone well-suited for high altitude operation. The CASTOR 30XL is a
high-performing upper stage motor in ATK's commercial product line of solid
rocket motors. The company's flight-proven rocket motors are utilized for
military and commercial customer missions.

A basic version of the CASTOR 30 motor was tested at AEDC in  December 2009  and
will fly the initial Antares missions. The CASTOR 30XL is an upgraded version
that will fly later operational missions requiring greater payload capacity.

The CASTOR 30XL motor was tested at AEDC due to their unique capability of being
able to simulate second stage flight conditions. The Air Force base has 27 test
units with capabilities that are unique in  the United States  and 14 that are
unique world-wide.

A key partner supporting ATK through development and production of the CASTOR
30XL motor is Moog Inc. in  East Aurora, N.Y., which produced the Thrust Vector
Control (VTC) System.  This system was developed by the C30 program to have
common hardware for future use on other ATK motors.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in
21 states,  Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found
on the Internet at  

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking
statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that
its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to
certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in
governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the
company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts;
and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any
forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact
ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual
Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and
current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange

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