NASA Selects Lockheed, ATK Athena Rocket for Launch Services 2 Contract
[Satellite TODAY 09-20-10] The Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) Athena Launch Vehicle Family has been selected by NASA to become part of the agency’s Launch Services 2 contract.
The contract will see the rockets launched from U.S.-based sites, such as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska. The Athena launch vehicles will fulfill NASA’s requirements for domestic launch services with a minimum performance capability of placing a 250-kilogram spacecraft in a 200-kilometer low Earth orbit (LEO) at an inclination of 28.5 degrees. Athena utilizes a large volume 92-inch diameter payload fairing to accommodate a wide range of satellites and missions as well as lunar missions.
The NASA contract follows a strategic agreement between Lockheed Martin and ATK signed in March to offer launch services utilizing upgraded and modernized Athena rockets. Lockheed Martin will provide mission management, payload integration, and launch operations, while ATK will provide integrated vehicle propulsion, launch vehicle structures, booster integration and launch site operations.
Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.