Space News reports that ATK is confident that its solid rocket boosters will continue to be part of NASA’s heavy-lift rocket design:
Solid-rocket-motor manufacturer ATK on Feb. 3 sought to persuade investors that its position in NASAâ€™s future heavy-lift rocket program is getting stronger despite ongoing debate over the vehicleâ€™s cost and schedule.
Minneapolis-based ATK, whose $500 million in annual NASA revenue during the shuttle era is now being reduced to around $300 million a year, said the lower figure seems stable for the foreseeable future given the state of the debate in Washington over what NASAâ€™s heavy-lift rocket will look like.
â€œIf the program is executed the way it has been planned, and the way Congress has laid out the authorization for execution of NASAâ€™s plan, it should be a fairly smooth transitionâ€ from ATKâ€™s current work on the Ares rocket, which has been cancelled by NASA, to work on the future heavy-lift rocket, ATK Chief Executive Mark W. DeYoung said in a Feb. 3 conference call with investors. â€œThe view we have — that ATK will play a critical role â€¦ in these future vehicles â€“- continues to solidify as time goes on. ATKâ€™s position for next-generation NASA vehicles continues to improve.â€
ATK is getting hit hard by the end of the space shuttle program and the Obama Administration’s decision to cancel the Constellation program. Space News reports that the latter wiped $650 million in future revenues off the books.
Congress has mandated that NASA build a HLV from shuttle- and Ares V-derived components, including ATK’s solid rocket motors. NASA said last month that a preliminary analysis of that design shows it cannot be built on the cost and time table that Congress has specified.
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