MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) celebrated a major milestone today as it prepares to conduct final testing and ship the Operational Responsive Space-1 (ORS-1) satellite bus, after building it in just 16 months. The bus will be shipped to Goodrich Corporation for integration of the payload in preparation for launch later this year.
ORS-1 is part of the United States Department of Defense's (DoD) ORS program that focuses on using small satellites and launch vehicles to provide innovative sensor technologies to the commanders in the battlefield, and doing so in shortened timeframes and in more affordable ways. The ORS-1 program supports Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) needs, by providing innovative sensor systems that range across multiple spectrums.
The satellite bus is based on the design ATK developed for the successful TacSat-3 satellite with the addition of a propulsion module. ATK built the bus at its Beltsville, MD facility. One of the goals of the program is to develop satellite buses with standard interfaces that allow for different sensors to be used for specific missions.
"Being able to build these satellites fast, and tailor them to the precise user needs, provides the commanders and the war fighter unprecedented capability," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Space Systems. "As we continue to build and operate satellites and develop more plug and play technologies, we will revolutionize how this nation responds to a threat."
Several key individuals were in attendance at the ATK celebration including local officials, representatives from the Pentagon and Congress including Senator Barbara Mikulski.
"I'm proud of the work being done at ATK in Beltsville to revolutionize satellites, create jobs in Maryland, and protect America. ATK Beltsville is a vital part of Maryland's space economy. The ORS-1 satellite bus is leaner, meaner, quicker to build and less costly to taxpayers than traditional satellites," said Senator Mikulski, chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Committee. "Finding quicker ways to put satellites into orbit will create jobs while leading to critical commercial, civil and national security information that will protect our nation and our troops overseas."
TacSat-3 was the earlier demonstration program that led to ORS-1. It was successfully launched last year and continues to perform well as an operational resource.
"The successful rapid development and launch of TacSat-3 established ATK as the first and only provider of an operational ORS bus," said Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager, ATK Spacecraft Systems & Services. "We look forward to using our flight-proven technologies in future missions."
ATK is under contract to Goodrich, the overall spacecraft integrator of the ORS-1 satellite system. ORS-1 will provide color pictures of regions selected by ground force commanders, and use existing ground systems to process and distribute the images and other information out to the battlefield. The system is designed to support urgent military needs, while establishing a foundation that will advance the multi-mission modular approach required for future ORS satellites.
The Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS Office) is a joint initiative of several agencies within the DoD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and for applying ORS resources to the development, acquisition and demonstration of capabilities to meet specific responsive space needs as established by global combatant command joint force commanders and users. The ORS-1 Program is managed by the Space Development and Test Wing located at Kirtland Air Force base with support from the ORS Office.
ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. 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: assumptions related to the challenges of developing next-generation space launch vehicles; 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.