ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. defense contractor ATK announced it secured a contract to provide propulsion systems that would help launch the Stratolaunch space transport system.
Alliant Techsystems Inc., known also as ATK, said it received a contract from Orbital Sciences Corp. to provide first- and second-stage propulsion and flight hardware for the Stratolaunch air launch vehicle.
Stratolaunch Systems is working on a design to improve space transportation. Test flights of the space system are expected by 2016.
ATK Aerospace President Blake Larson said in a statement his company's involvement would add to the low-cost, flexible options envisioned for the air launch vehicle.
"Our innovative propulsion concept combines both proven and state-of-the-art technologies that will provide a high-performing, cost-effective solution for the ALV," he said in a statement Tuesday.
The company said it would use lessons learned from providing propulsion systems for the Space Shuttle program for the next generation. The propulsion system would employ high-strength and low-weight graphite composites.
ATK said it has manufactured more than 1,600 solid rocket motors since it entered the market in 1987. No financial terms were disclosed and no corresponding statement was issued by Orbital Sciences Corp.