Stock Price: 133.76 +0.06 5/25/2018 3:59 PM ET

Stock Price: 133.76 +0.06 5/25/2018 3:59 PM ET
Orbital ATK Completes Cast of First Motor for OMEGA Rocket

 

 

During the largest solid rocket motor casting campaign in Orbital ATK’s history, the company successfully cast its first inert motor segment for the Common Boost Segment (CBS) program for the new OmegA rocket. Casting primarily involves filling the rocket motor with propellant, and the casting team completed this process on a CASTOR® 600 aft segment in late April.

Previously known as Next-Generation Launcher (or NGL), the OmegA rocket has been under development for nearly three years as part of an Air Force competition to launch intermediate to heavy-class national security payloads into orbit. As one of Orbital ATK's top initiatives, OmegA has received full company commitment and investment to ensure the program meets major milestones, including this cast. The approximately 12-foot-diameter CASTOR 600 aft segment is a pathfinder for this program and underwent the same steps as a live motor segment, which enables the team to uncover any process issues early on. The CASTOR 600 is the first stage of the intermediate OmegA rocket, and CASTOR 300 is the rocket’s second stage.


Orbital ATK technicians prepare the C600 aft segment for casting with inert propellant.

The CASTOR 600 aft segment is the heaviest of the CBS motor segments. This first cast required a record 55 600-gallon mixes of propellant. For comparison purposes, the second heaviest cast rocket motor segment cast at the company's Promontory, Utah, facility is a NASA Space Launch System booster forward segment requiring 45 600-gallon mixes.

“I’m proud of our team for the tremendous accomplishment in meeting this milestone for our OmegA rocket,” said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “We look forward to our ground tests next year and flight tests in 2021.”

The next CBS cast will be the CASTOR 600 inert forward segment this summer. Following that successful cast, three live propellant casts for static test motors will begin.

The first static test for the program is a CASTOR 600 (two segments), and the second is a CASTOR 300 (single segment). Planned for 2019, these two tests will verify the first and second stage performance for the intermediate vehicle configuration, which will make up the majority of the anticipated OmegA flights expected to begin in three years