Aerospace and defense specialist Orbital ATK global leader has supplied composite components for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launched recently from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket launched a classified satellite, designated NROL-79, for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in support of a national security mission.

Orbital ATK produced the 10 ft diameter composite heat shield, which provides protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle. The assembly was made using fiber placement manufacturing techniques at the company’s Iuka, Mississippi, facility. This is the 70th Atlas V launch using Orbital ATK-built composite structures. This flight also marked the 35th consecutive successful flight of the Orbital ATK retro motors.

‘Seeing another successful Atlas V launch bolsters the pride we have in our partnership with ULA and confirms the trust they and the NRO place in us in delivering this critical asset for our nation’s security,’ said Steve Earl, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division.

This story uses material from Orbital ATK, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.