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Utah-made parts support launch of a Delta rocket

Components manufactured from two Alliant Techsystems operations in Utah supported a Boeing Delta IV Medium rocket as it deployed the Air Force's Defense Satellite Communications System spacecraft, DSCS III B63, from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

ATK Composites of Clearfield provided a 4-meter-diameter composite thermal shield that protected the RS-68 main engine during liftoff as well as the center body and liquid-oxygen skirt for the common booster core. ATK Composites also provided a 6.7-meter-long interstage that joined the common booster core and the second stage and an 11.6-meter-long payload fairing and payload attach assembly that housed the satellite.

The structures were produced at ATK Composites' Southern Composites Center in Iuka, Miss.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion of Promontory designed and produced the nozzle for the RS-68 engine as well as the nozzle's thermal protection material.