Orbital ATK is built on the strong heritage of two great companies, Orbital Sciences Corporation and ATK, with a history of collaboration providing reliable, affordable and innovative products for almost 25 years. Orbital was founded in 1982 by three friends who met while attending Harvard Business School. Armed with business school studies and an initial round of financing, David Thompson, Scott Webster, and Bruce Ferguson, developed a plan for what would become their first product – the Transfer Orbit Stage (TOS) for NASA. In the three decades that followed, Orbital grew to become a premier provider of space-related systems, pioneering new commercially-driven products and services to make space accessible to millions of people on Earth. ATK was launched as an independent company in 1990, when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. The former Honeywell businesses had supplied defense products and systems to the U.S. and its allies for 50 years. ATK expanded into the aerospace market with the acquisitions of Hercules Aerospace Company in 1995 and Thiokol Propulsion in 2001. A series of notable contracts and acquisitions continued to increase the ATK's presence in aerospace, defense, and commercial markets. Orbital ATK was formed though the combination of Orbital and the aerospace and defense businesses of ATK. The merger was announced in April 2014 and closed in February 2015.