NASA Astronaut to Visit Progressive Technologies



Grand Rapids, MI, August 6, 2009 – NASA Astronaut Gregory H. Johnson will visit Progressive Technologies Inc. on Thursday, August 13, 2009.

The visit is being sponsored by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), the producer of the space shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motors (RSRM) and the Ares I first stage. Progressive has produced over 16 different automated surface treatment systems for manufacture and refurbishment of the shuttles RSRMs. These systems include abrasive blasting, waterjet cleaning, glass bead peening, and eddy current inspection equipment all installed at ATK facilities in Utah.

“We are very excited to have Colonel Johnson take the time to visit our facility,” said Lewis Van Kuiken, president of Progressive. “This is a great opportunity for our employees to get some insight into the space program and to hear firsthand experience from an astronaut who piloted a shuttle mission. As a supplier to the aerospace industry it is reaffirming for all of us at Progressive to hear how the products and services we provide contribute to the overall success of ATK and NASA”

“Through this personal contact, employees can put the names with the faces,” said Trina Patterson ATK Space Systems spokesperson. “Progressive Technologies can meet the astronaut, share stories and the visit provides an opportunity to let the team understand how important their work is to the space program and the future of space exploration.”

Colonel Johnson was pilot of STS-123 Endeavour (March 11-26, 2008) which completed both launch and landing at night. The 25th Shuttle/Station assembly mission, Endeavour’s crew delivered the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Pressurized Section, the first pressurized component of JAXA’s Kibo Laboratory, and the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System, the Canadian-built Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator. In addition to pilot duties aboard Endeavour, he was a primary robotic arm operator, employing both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) robotic arms in support of numerous tasks throughout the mission.

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