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ATK Snags $20M to Provide Solar Array Tech to NASA Spacecraft

ATK has won a $20 million contract from the Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide its solar array technology to power a logistics space vehicle being used under NASA‘s Commercial Resupply System contract.

The contract calls for ATK’s UltraFlex solar arrays to power Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft, which will incorporate a larger pressurized cargo module capable of carrying up to 2700 kg of cargo to the International Space Station, said the company. The cargo module will carry crew supplies, spares and scientific experiments.

Ultraflex produces the same power, but with reduced mass from original arrays, according to a company release. The company reports that using the 11 foot diameter UltraFlex solar arrays will increase payload capability.

“Providing performance and weight savings is critical for spacecraft providers,” said David Shanahan, vice president and general manager, ATK space structures and components. He indicated that UltraFlex is capable of providing those services.

Smaller and versions of the arrays have been used in the past, such as on NASA’s Phoenix Lander, and a larger version is to be used on NASA’s Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle.

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