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Press release from PR Newswire

NASA and ATK Complete Milestone in the Development of the Booster for the Country's Next Deep Space Exploration System

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NASA and ATK Complete Milestone in the Development of the Booster for the Country's Next Deep Space Exploration System09:00 EDT Tuesday, April 03, 2012NASA and ATK Complete Key Avionics and Controls Testing for NASA's SLS Booster ATK Designs Affordability into New Avionics SubsystemPROMONTORY, Utah, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA and ATK (NYSE: ATK) successfully completed the first test for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) booster program March 28 at ATK's Promontory, Utah, test facility.  This demonstration was a key avionics and controls test designated Flight Control Test 1 (FCT-1) and included a fully integrated flight heritage thrust vector control (TVC) system with the new SLS booster avionics subsystem.The avionics subsystem is responsible for booster ignition, nozzle steering and booster separation. This test will specifically focus on the avionics subsystem's ability to start-up, monitor, steer and shut down an SLS booster nozzle TVC system.This test marks the first time a new avionics subsystem interfaced with and controlled an previously developed TVC system, performing an SLS launch simulation. The avionics subsystem is responsible for commanding the vectoring of the booster's nozzles during flight.  In addition to a new avionics subsystem, the test included new electronic ground support equipment which monitored and coordinated activities between the test facilities, avionics subsystem, and TVC system. This test effort is one in a series of tests to reduce risk and validate the avionics subsystem design early in development life cycle."Today's test was a great milestone for ATK and NASA's SLS program," said Fred Brasfield, ATK's vice president, Next-Generation Booster. "The results not only validate the system, but also our streamlining efforts to produce a product that is robust, sustainable and affordable."Affordability was designed in from the onset of developing a new avionics subsystem. From a common chassis design, to utilization of 14 common circuit cards, to standardization of cable designs, to single piece process flow?the company has incorporated lean manufacturing and continuous improvement principles in the avionics design.  "This successful test of the Flight Control System is a big step forward for NASA's Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit," said Brasfield.Two additional tests are planned for the avionics and controls system, culminating in supporting the first Qualification test of the five-segment motor which is currently scheduled for spring 2013.  ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com. 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 Commission.Media Contact:Investor Contact:Trina PattersonSteve WoldPhone: 801-699-0943Phone: 952-351-3056E-mail: trina.patterson@atk.comE-mail: steve.wold@atk.comSOURCE ATK