PROMONTORY -- A senior NASA management official offered workers at ATK Space Systems an update and some encouraging words during a visit to the location this week.
"It was positive," said Kay Anderson, ATK communications lead for the Space Launch Division.
Todd May, space launch program manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, provided a program update, Anderson said. May applauded the ATK SLS workforce for its dedication and efforts.
"It is always a privilege to be visited by senior NASA management," said Fred Brasfield, ATK vice president of Next Generation Solid Rocket Booster First Stage program.
"For them to take the time to travel to Utah, visit with our employees and share with us the latest program accomplishments and status is very much appreciated," Brasfield said in a news release issued Friday.
The fact NASA recognized the significant contributions from the ATK team and the progress made in increasing efficiency and lowering costs was especially gratifying, he said.
"Thanks for all you do," May told workers. "It has been a challenging two years for all of us, which has made us stronger. But with challenges come opportunity, and we look forward to working with our partners at ATK on the Space Launch System."
NASA's SLS is designed to launch humans in the Orion spacecraft on missions beyond Earth's orbit to destinations such as an asteroid and ultimately Mars.
It will be a platform for continuing America's tradition of human exploration to new frontiers, and provide the capability to launch entirely new science missions, which will yield new knowledge and technologies that benefit life on Earth, officials say.
As part of the event, NASA representatives thanked the ATK workforce for continued efforts to produce boosters for SLS at reduced costs by implementing process improvements, Anderson said.
ATK, under contract for six solid rocket boosters for the SLS program, is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico and around the world.