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ATK debuts new Thrust Vector Electronic Control System

A Minotaur rocket. Photo: NASA/Wallops Flight Facility

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA (BNS): ATK has successfully performed the first orbit insertion of a satellite using its new STAR 48BV rocket motor with an innovative vectorable nozzle.

The new STAR 48BV system served as the fourth and final stage of the Orbital Minotaur IV+ rocket, which recently launched the Tactical Satellite-4 (TacSat-4) into low-Earth orbit.

ATK's STAR 48BV incorporates a flexseal nozzle and innovative thrust vector electronic control system (TVECS) that provides added maneuverability and mission flexibility to the payload. It is designed for use where precise flight profiles are required, such as during satellite orbit insertion.

"The TVECS system is the latest innovation in controls technology. We've designed TVECS to be adaptable for a variety of missions and payloads requiring more precise control of thrust from solid propulsion and attitude control systems," said Gary Flinchbaugh, Vice President and General Manager of ATK Propulsion and Controls.

The next flight of ATK's STAR 48BV motor will be on the NASA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission, as the fourth stage for Orbital's Minotaur V launch vehicle.

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