Orbital ATK: Trusted Partner for Aerospace, Defense Tech and Aviation Related Systems

Orbital ATK Logo As a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, Orbital ATK designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. Our main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; satellites and associated components and services; composite aerospace structures; tactical missiles, subsystems and defense electronics; and precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and several international locations.

OrbitalATK OA-5 mission successfully launched aboard our Antares rocket from Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, on October 17, 2016. Out Cygnus spacecraft carried approximately 2,400 kg (5,290 lbs.) of supplies and science experiments for the International Space Station (ISS). Mission successfully completed 11/27/16.

Orbital ATK Antares Space Launch Rocket Our company is comprised of three operating groups:

Flight Systems Group:

  • Leading provider of small- and medium-class space launch vehicles for civil, military and commercial missions.
  • Premier producer of solid rocket propulsion systems and specialty energetic products.
  • Major supplier of interceptor boosters and target vehicles for missile defense applications.
  • World class manufacturer of composite structures for commercial and military aircraft and launch vehicles.

Defense Systems Group:

  • An industry leader in propulsion and controls for air-, sea- and land-based tactical missiles and missile defense interceptors, fusing and warheads for tactical missiles and munitions.
  • Supplier of advanced defense electronics for next-generation strike weapon systems, missile-warning and aircraft survivability, and special-mission aircraft.
  • Leading producer of medium- and large-caliber ammunition, medium-caliber gun systems and precision munitions guidance kits.
  • Largest U.S. producer of small-caliber ammunition.

Space Systems Group:

  • An industry-leading provider of commercial satellites used for global communications and high-resolution Earth imaging.
  • A leading provider of small and medium spacecraft that perform scientific research and national security missions for government customers.
  • Provider of commercial cargo delivery services to the International Space Station and developer of advanced commercial space-launch systems.
  • Premier provider of spacecraft components and subsystems and specialized engineering services.

Some general company facts and figures:

  • Annual revenues of approximately $4.4 billion (Pro forma CY 2014) with total contract backlog of about $12 billion.
  • Experienced workforce of over 12,000 employees dedicated to aerospace and defense including 4,300 engineers and scientists; 7,200 manufacturing and operations specialists; and 1,100 management and administration personnel.
  • Modern industrial facilities – over 19 million square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, manufacturing, test and operations, and office space.
  • Solid financial outlook and strong balance sheet – revenue and profit growth, strong cash flow and low debt levels.
  • Leading producer of solid rocket propulsion systems… over 16,000 motors built for strategic, tactical and space applications.
  • Largest manufacturer of small- and medium-caliber ammunition… more than 8 billion rounds produced in last five years.
  • Primary supplier of long-range missile defense interceptors and target systems… more than 300 vehicles built or under contract.
  • Major builder of satellites and related subsystems… over 225 space systems and more than 800 space components delivered or in production.
  • Principal supplier of medium-caliber gun systems for U.S. and NATO… 15,000-unit installed base.
  • Leading operator of small research rockets and high-altitude scientific balloons… about 30 missions conducted per year.
  • Expertise in facility management and co-production… operator of the largest U.S. ammunitions manufacturing facility.

OA-4 Mission to ISS Review & Launch

The Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft carrying over 7,700 lbs. of cargo for the International Space Station (ISS) was captured by the ISS crew using the station’s robotic arm at 6:18 a.m. EST. Cygnus was berthed to the station at 9:26 a.m. EST on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. The crew aboard the ISS opened the hatch to Cygnus at 4:42 a.m. EST on Thursday, December 10.

Orbital ATK’s CygnusFor the OA-4 mission, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft is carrying approximately 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs.) of supplies and science experiments for the International Space Station (ISS). Under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, Orbital will deliver approximately 28,700 kilograms of cargo to the ISS. OA-4 is the fourth of these missions.

The launch portion of the mission lasted approximately 21 minutes from ignition of the Atlas V rocket to the separation of Cygnus in its initial target orbit. Approximately one hour after separation, Cygnus unfurled its circular UltraFlex™ solar arrays and over the next two days raised its orbit in order to rendezvous with the space station. Astronauts aboard the ISS used the station’s robotic arm to grapple Cygnus and berth it to the Unity node of the space station.

Cygnus will remain attached to the station for approximately two months, during which time the station crew will remove the cargo from Cygnus and fill it with materials for disposal. Once Cygnus departs the station, it will safely reenter the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

About Cygnus:

Cygnus is a low-risk design incorporating elements drawn from Orbital ATK and its partners’ existing, flight-proven spacecraft technologies. Cygnus consists of a common Service Module (SM) and a Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM). The SM is assembled and tested at Orbital ATK’s Dulles, VA satellite manufacturing facility and incorporates systems from Orbital ATK’s flight-proven LEOStar™ and GEOStar™ satellite product lines. The PCM is based on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) and was developed and built by Thales Alenia Space of Italy.

The Cygnus spacecraft for the OA-4 mission is the first to employ the longer, enhanced PCM which can carry a greater volume of cargo than the PCM flown on previous missions, and lightweight UltraFlex arrays developed and built by Orbital ATK’s Goleta, CA facility.

The Cygnus spacecraft for this mission is named the S.S. Deke Slayton II. Learn more about Deke Slayton here.

More Information:

Watch the OA-4 mission preview video
Orbital ATK human spaceflight systems web page
Orbital ATK OA-4 mission fact sheet
Orbital ATK Cygnus fact sheet
Orbital ATK CRS fact sheet
ULA Website

Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group is one of the world’s preeminent satellite builders and advanced space systems providers, offering a broad portfolio of products for commercial, military, scientific and international customers. The group designs, manufactures and operates small- to medium-class satellites for communications, imaging, science and national security space applications. Orbital ATK is also a market-leading supplier of space components that power and enable satellites of all classes, and is pioneering innovative in-orbit satellite servicing technologies. It is also a premier provider of space-related engineering services to government agencies and laboratories.

Orbital ATK Commercial Satellite Production Commercial Satellites: Orbital ATK’s GEOStar™ -2 and -3 geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) satellites are among the industry’s best-selling small- and medium-class communications satellites for 2- 8 kW missions. The world’s leading satellite communications service providers rely on our lower-cost, highly reliable GEOStar satellites for their broadband, television broadcasting, mobile communications, business data networks and other telecommunications missions. Orbital ATK is also an industry pioneer in the design and production of commercial imaging satellites as well as in the incorporation of civil and military hosted payloads on its commercial spacecraft.

Orbital ATK Small and Medium Sized Satellite Production Scientific & National Security Satellites: Orbital ATK is one of the world’s preeminent suppliers of small-and medium-class spacecraft for space and Earth science and national security space missions. Our flight-proven, low- cost and highly reliable LEOStar™ and GEOStar buses can accommodate a variety of payloads and allow customers to select the right platform for their mission requirements and budget. Orbital ATK has designed and built over 80 spacecraft for scientific investigations and defense missions in the last 30 years, and today we are pioneering new classes of innovative small, highly agile spacecraft for national security applications.

Orbital ATK Cygnus, Human and Spaceflight Systems Human Space & Advanced Systems: Orbital ATK is bringing the efficiency and discipline of fixed-price commercial contracting to the human spaceflight market by providing cargo delivery services to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program. The company’s Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft conducts autonomous rendezvous and close in operations with the ISS and also supports future deep-space exploration programs.  

Orbital ATK is also an innovator in the development of new atmospheric and space flight systems. From Pegasus, the world’s first air-launched vehicle designed to boost small satellites into orbit, and the X-43 hypersonic technology aircraft demonstrator to the Eagles program for Stratolaunch Systems and the VivaSat in-space servicing vehicle, Orbital ATK has been involved in some of the most exciting advanced systems in the aerospace industry.

Orbital ATK is a major supplier of space products that provide power, propulsion, structural support and thermal control for satellites of all classes.Space Components: Orbital ATK is a major supplier of space products that provide power, propulsion, structural support and thermal control for satellites of all classes. Satellite subsystems include spacecraft panels, bus structures, precision optical structures, deployable structural systems and mechanisms, solar arrays, antenna reflectors and propulsion tanks. Our products have flown aboard virtually every U.S. satellite built in the last 20 years.

Orbital ATK Tech ServicesTechnical Services: Our Technical Services Division (TSD) provides a full spectrum of cost effective, engineering, manufacturing and program management services to NASA and other civil government and military space agencies. TSD manages high-profile NASA science programs including its scientific sounding rocket and balloon program offices.

Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group provides products and services that span the launch, strategic missile and missile defense, and aerospace structures markets. The group is a premier producer of solid rocket propulsion systems and specialty energetic products; a leading provider of small- and medium-class space launch vehicles for civil, defense and commercial missions; a major supplier of interceptor boosters and target vehicles for missile defense; and a world class manufacturer of composite primary and secondary structures for commercial and military aircraft and launch vehicles.

Space Launch Vehicles from Orbital ATKSpace Launch Vehicles: Orbital ATK’s family of space launch vehicles has carried out over 70 launches, boosting more than 160 satellites into orbit. Our space launch vehicles are the industry standard for boosting small payloads to orbit. Our innovative Pegasus® rocket is launched from the company’s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft and has proven to be the industry’s small space launch workhorse, having conducted 42 missions from six different launch sites worldwide since 1990.

Our Minotaur ground-launched rockets combine Pegasus upper stages with either government-supplied or commercially available first-stage rocket motors to boost larger payloads to orbit. Our Minotaur IV, V & VI rockets combine decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors with proven Orbital avionics and fairings to provide increased lifting capacity for government-sponsored payloads.  Orbital ATK entered the market for medium-class launch services in 2013 with the introduction of the Antares™ rocket. Following four successful and one unsuccessful flights, the launcher’s main stage propulsion system is now being upgraded and the next generation Antares is expected to be ready for flight in early 2016.

Propulsion Systems from Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems:  Orbital ATK provides a wide range of reliable solid motors for the company’s own vehicles and for most other launch providers in government and commercial markets. For defense programs, the company produces propulsion systems for the Trident II D-5 and Minuteman III strategic missiles and the company’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor and various missile defense target vehicles.

Orbital ATK is also building the five-segment boosters for NASA’s heavy lift Space Launch System (SLS) and the main launch-abort motor for the Orion crew capsule. Orbital ATK propulsion systems are employed in the company’s Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares rockets as well as in other vehicles such as the Athena launch system and Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM) boosters for the Delta II and Delta IV launch vehicles.

Missile Defense Systems, Orbital ATK Missile Defense Systems: Orbital ATK is an industry-leading provider of sophisticated suborbital launch vehicles for the nation’s missile defense systems. In the last 10 years, we have conducted over 75 major launches for U.S. and allied countries’ missile defense programs.

Orbital ATK is the sole provider of interceptor boosters for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system designed to intercept and destroy long-range enemy missiles. The group is also a primary supplier of highly reliable target vehicles that serve as “threat simulators” to provide high-fidelity facsimiles of enemy missiles in the testing and verification of missile defense systems.

Aerospace Structures from Orbital ATKAerospace Structures: Orbital ATK is a leading supplier in critical composite structures for the aerospace and defense industries. Employing advanced composite manufacturing technologies, the company produces highly-engineered, lightweight and reliable structures for commercial and military aircraft programs such as the Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Lockheed Martin F-35 as well as for the ULA Delta and Atlas launch vehicles. These structures cover a wide range of physical sizes and service temperature requirements for some of the industry’s most demanding applications.