DJ Clayton Class of 1998

DJ Clayton

DJ Clayton Class of 1998

Major: Engineering Technology

Employer: Orbital ATK

Employer City: Chandler

Employer State: Arizona

Position: Sr. Designer – NX

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I started at Orbital ATK back in May of 2007. I work mainly new development programs. Here in Chandler our products range from Targets, Interceptors and Space Launch Vehicles. I am currently working the NGL Program.

Orbital ATK’s family of space launch vehicles has carried out more than 70 launches, boosting more than 160 satellites into orbit.

Our space launch vehicles are the industry standard for boosting small payloads to orbit. Our innovative Pegasus® rocket is launched from the company’s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft and has proven to be the industry’s small space launch workhorse, having conducted 43 missions from six different launch sites worldwide since 1990.

Our Minotaur ground-launched rockets combine Pegasus upper stages with either government-supplied or commercially available first-stage rocket motors to boost larger payloads to orbit. Our Minotaur IV, V & VI rockets combine decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors with proven Orbital avionics and fairings to provide increased lifting capacity for government-sponsored payloads.

Orbital ATK entered the market for medium-class launch services in 2013 with the introduction of the Antares™ rocket. Antares has now successfully launched six cargo delivery missions to the International Space Station for NASA.

Orbital ATK is developing a new family of intermediate-and large-class space launch vehicles (NGL) capable of launching national security, science and commercial payloads. Common subsystems with Orbital ATK’s other programs enable synergies that reduce technical risk, provide cost savings, and increase stability when launch rates fluctuate

Orbital ATK is an industry-leading provider of sophisticated suborbital launch vehicles for the nation’s missile defense systems. In the last 10 years, we have conducted more than 75 major launches for U.S. and allied countries’ missile defense programs.

Orbital ATK is the sole provider of interceptor boosters for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system designed to intercept and destroy long-range enemy missiles. The group is also a primary supplier of highly reliable target vehicles that serve as “threat simulators” to provide high-fidelity facsimiles of enemy missiles in the testing and verification of missile defense systems.

I grew up in Lyndon, Ill., just down the road from Morrison Tech. I graduated in 1998.  Quick rundown of my past employment after graduation:

  • Lawrence Bros. in Sterling, Ill. for three months drafting up hinges using auto-cad.
  • Nissan Forklift in Marengo, Ill. designing forklifts using SDRC I-deas for two years.
  • Webasto Sunroofs in Rochester Hills, Mich. for one year designing Sun Roofs using SDRC I-deas.
  • Back to Nissan Forklift for five years.
  • DRS Technologies in Milwaukee, Wisc. designing electronic components for the Navy using I-deas for one year.
  • Started at Orbital ATK in May 2007.

My wife, two kids and I live in Surprise, Ariz.