ATK ‘Circling Wagons’ After Commercial-Crew Defeat

By Frank Morring, Jr.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

October 01, 2012

Frank Morring, Jr. Washington

ATK Aerospace Systems and its partners have not given up on the Liberty launch vehicle they proposed as the next route to the International Space Station for NASA astronauts.

NASA rejected the company’s proposal as insufficiently detailed compared with the three it ultimately selected for Space Act agreements. But the Liberty partnership offered to spend “an order of magnitude” more of its own money on development than the competition, and it may use its deep pockets to continue the work on its own. Ultimately the Liberty team might find itself launching some of the commercial crew vehicles that beat it out in NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) contest.

Like SpaceX with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, ATK proposed a new launcher and crew capsule. The Liberty rocket would be a combination of the five-segment solid-fuel first stage that ATK developed for NASA’s abandoned Ares I crew launcher, with an Ariane 5 main stage serving as the launcher’s upper stage.

Read more: ATK ‘Circling Wagons’ After Commercial-Crew Defeat — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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