02:53 GMT +319 August 2019
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    The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft onboard is seen shortly after arriving at Space Launch Complex 41 on December 2, 2015

    Orbital ATK Receives $199.5Mln NASA Order for Rockets

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    NASA announced that Orbital ATK has received a $199.5 million contract to support the US scientific research Sounding Rockets Program.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Orbital ATK Company in Greenbelt, Maryland has received a $199.5 million contract to support the US scientific research Sounding Rockets Program, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said in a press release.

    "Orbital ATK will manage and be responsible for providing all… services and supplies for the Sounding Rockets Program," the release said on Wednesday. "This includes the design, fabrication… and flight qualification testing of sub-orbital payloads, as well as the provision of launch vehicles."

    Sounding rockets carry scientific instruments into space along a parabolic trajectory and stay in space for five to 20 minutes at lower vehicle speeds in order to carry out scientific experiments, the release explained.

    The small rockets are useful because there are some important regions of space that are too low for satellites to access. The vehicles provide the only platforms that can carry out measurements in there, the release pointed out.

    Under the contract, Ornbital ATK will conduct an estimated 18 launches per year throughout the period of performance, the release noted.


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