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Magna – The NASA Space Launch System (SLS) and its Orion industry teams accomplished unprecedented progress in 2013 in the design, development and testing of the next-generation vehicles destined to explore deep space.
ATK, headquartered in Magna with other Utah locations in Corrine and Clearfield, provides the twin five-segment solid rocket boosters for NASA’s SLS. In 2013 ATK successfully completed its solid rocket booster preliminary design review with NASA and is on track to support the first flight of SLS in 2017.
A new upgraded ground test controller, used to operate the booster during a full-scale ground test, was developed in 2013. The use of modern technology allows this critical operations and monitoring system to function independently. The booster qualification ground tests certify the rockets for flight.
ATK made tremendous progress with its SLS booster avionics and controls system. Key avionics tests were conducted in February and December. These tests included a “hot fire” of the flight computer as it controlled fully integrated thrust vector control through an SLS launch simulation.
“Our industry partners have worked tirelessly to help us build the rocket and spacecraft that will enable us to push the boundaries of human exploration,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA. He added, “For the first time since the dawn of human spaceflight, destinations like Mars are in reach.”