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Ball Aerospace Completes NPP Instrument Verification and Test

December 6, 2005

BOULDER , Colo. –– Ball Aerospace recently completed the integration of the engineering models for three of the instruments scheduled to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft bus. The models will test and verify mechanical and electrical interfaces between the instruments and the spacecraft before installation of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CRiS) and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) is completed later next year.

In addition, Ball Aerospace developed and qualified the first fault-tolerant, spacecraft-to-payload 1394 interface for use in space, and completed verification of the interface on NPP’s instrument engineering models. The 1394 interface is used for high-data-rate applications and operates at 100 megabits per second.

“The successful integration of the instrument engineering models onto NPP is a significant milestone for this program,” says David L. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. “This extensive testing allows us to have the spacecraft fully prepared before instrument integration begins and it demonstrates true progress on the NPOESS program.”

NPP, the mission precursor for NPOESS will provide data continuity between the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua missions and NPOESS, and provide technical risk reduction for NPOESS. Under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace will provide the spacecraft, perform satellite-level testing and integrate instruments provided by NPOESS prime contractor Northrop Grumman. Ball Aerospace is also providing one of four instruments selected for the flight, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS).

OMPS is the next-generation ozone monitoring system designed to collect total column and vertical profile ozone data and continue the daily global data produced by the current ozone monitoring systems, the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer/2 (built by Ball Aerospace for NOAA POES spacecraft) and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (built by Ball Aerospace for Nimbus 7).

The NPP Project is a joint effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. Scheduled to launch in 2008, NPP is expected be in orbit prior to the end of the EOS Aqua mission, as well as to provide data overlap with the NPOESS spacecraft.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of metal and plastic packaging products, primarily for the beverage and food industries. The company also owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems and components for government and commercial markets. Ball Corporation employs more than 13,500 people and reported 2004 sales of $5.4 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements
The information in this news release contains "forward-looking" statements and other statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” and variations of same and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially in Exhibit 99.2 in the most recent Form 10-K. These filings are available at our Web site and at www.sec.gov . Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in consumer and customer demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials, including due to the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; fruit, vegetable and fishing yields; industry productive capacity and competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including those associated with our beverage can end project; the German mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; international business risks, including foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting on earnings. Factors that might affect aerospace segment include: funding, authorization and availability of government contracts and the nature and continuation of those contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that could affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; boycotts; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or management’s evaluation of the company’s internal control over financial reporting. 

 

 

 

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