Orbital ATK christens its next-generation rocket

OmegA rocket
An artist’s conception shows Orbital ATK’s OmegA rocket in flight. The capital “A” could be read as a nod to ATK, which merged with Orbital Sciences Corp. in 2014. (Orbital ATK Illustration)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Orbital ATK’s entrant in the competition for national security launches has a new name: OmegA.

The project also has a new partner: Aerojet Rocketdyne, which will provide its RL10C rocket engine for OmegA’s upper stage.

Orbital ATK’s update on the rocket formerly known as the Next Generation Launch System came today at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

OmegA is designed to take on intermediate- to heavy-class launches by the Defense Department, civil government and commercial customers. It’s being developed jointly with the U.S. Air Force as an option for future national security launches under the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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