ATK today announced that it is building its own manned capsule for its Liberty solid rocket.


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The competition continues to heat up: ATK today announced that it is building its own manned capsule for its Liberty launch system.

The capsule’s first two flights are scheduled in 2014, both abort tests, followed in 2015 by an orbital flight and, finally, a crewed orbital flight. The spacecraft is designed for ten flights each, and ATK plans to build a minimum of four capsules. All flights will be launched by the Liberty launcher, and ATK is not actively exploring adapting the capsule for other [launch vehicles].

Liberty is based on the upgraded shuttle solid rocket boosters that were developed for the Ares rocket, now cancelled.

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