Reuters: Orbital ATK Pushes for Use of Retired ICBMs in Commercial Satellite Launch Vehicles

rocket launchOrbital ATK has urged Congress to consider ending a two-decade ban on the use of decommissioned intercontinental ballistic missiles to build new launch vehicles intended for commercial satellite launch efforts, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Irene Klotz writes the company has built Minotaur rockets with engine technology from retired ICBMs in an effort to help the U.S. Air Force send some military payloads into space.

However, the law prohibits companies from using ICBM-based rockets to fly commercial satellites, Klotz reports.

Barron Beneski, a vice president at Orbital ATK, told Reuters the company does not intend to “cannibalize” the commercial launch services market and will support the Defense Department‘s review of the potential expanded use of the missile technology.

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