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Ball Aerospace Opens New Detector Technology Center
March 24, 2006
BOULDER, Colo. – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. today opened its new Detector Technology Center (DTC) which will double focal plane production capacity and accommodate optical assemblies up to one meter in size. The center is part of a multi-year, $65-million capital expansion of Ball’s Colorado facilities to accommodate the company’s record business growth and position the company for future programs. The company is also near completion on the Universal Collimator Assembly (UCA), which allows system-level vacuum testing of large aperture telescopes and optical systems.
“Ball Aerospace develops and manufactures ground-breaking technology for aerospace and defense missions,” says David L. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. “Our program size and scope continues to increase. This investment in detector processing capability allows us to remain a leading innovator in the aerospace industry.”
Ball Aerospace designs, fabricates, and tests focal planes for space-based imaging applications. These applications encompass Earth-observing satellites and space-based observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Space-based detectors are very sensitive to faint light and can image objects up to a billion times fainter than can be seen by the human eye. They are also capable of sensing wavelengths of light beyond the sensitivity of the human eye. The new DTC facility will provide Ball’s customers with state-of-the-art focal plane capabilities for defense, astronomy and Earth-observing applications.
Some of the most spectacular space images ever taken have been enabled by Ball Aerospace detector technology. Recent examples include the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), the Deep Impact mission and the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. ACS improved the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. Deep Impact detectors guided the Impactor spacecraft into comet Tempel 1, providing the first look inside a comet. HiRISE is the largest and highest-resolution camera ever sent beyond Earth’s orbit.
Ball Aerospace celebrates its 50th year in business in 2006. The company began building pointing controls for military rockets in 1956, and later won a contract to build one of NASA’s first spacecraft, the Orbiting Solar Observatory. Over the years, the company has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and now acts as a technology innovator in important national missions.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems and components for government and commercial customers. Ball reported 2005 sales of $5.8 billion and the company employs 13,100 people worldwide.
This news release contains "forward-looking" 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. Such 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 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in Exhibit 99.2 in our 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 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; changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might 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; 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 other effects.