United Space Alliance Files Lawsuit Against ATK

Press Release From: United Launch Alliance
Posted: Friday, August 15, 2008


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (Aug. 15, 2008) -- United Space Alliance (USA), NASA's prime Space Shuttle contractor, filed a lawsuit in Brevard County Circuit Court in Florida today against Alliant Techsystems, Inc., and ATK Launch Systems, Inc., seeking damages for fraud and breach of contract, and seeking an injunction against further piracy of USA employees with skills essential to flying out the Space Shuttle manifest.

USA has been operating under a letter contract with ATK since 2006 for services supporting the design and development of NASA's Ares I first stage project. The Ares rocket is part of NASA's next phase of human exploration, known as Constellation, and is based on the use of Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters. The lawsuit is in response to ATK's failure to negotiate a long-term contract in good faith during the past two years. More importantly, ATK concurrently undertook an aggressive campaign to hire critically skilled USA employees, who have been performing specialized work in support of both the Ares and Space Shuttle programs in order to solely perform work on Ares.

"USA's number one priority is to continue to fly the Space Shuttle safely and successfully until it is retired. At the same time, we are fully committed to helping our customers bring the new Constellation elements online. It is essential to preserve and protect the skilled and experienced workforce that will be needed to accomplish both of these objectives, and to ensure that the transition of those critical skills to the new programs does not in any way jeopardize the current program," said Richard O. Covey, USA's Chief Executive Officer.

United Space Alliance is a world leader in space operations with extensive experience in all aspects of the field. Headquartered in Houston and employing 10,000 people in Texas, Florida and Alabama, USA is applying its broad range of capabilities to NASA's Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Constellation programs as well as to space operations customers in the commercial and international space industry sectors.

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