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Autonomous Lunar Dust Observer Concept Under Development at Ball Aerospace

August 17, 2007

BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 17, 2007 – An instrument to benefit scientists in their understanding of the characteristics of lunar dust on the surface of the moon is under design by a Ball Aerospace engineer as part of a winning proposal for NASA’s Lunar Sortie Science Opportunities (LSSO) program.

A six-month proposal for the Autonomous Lunar Dust Observer (ALDO) submitted by Christian Grund was one of seven chosen from more than 70 submissions under the LSSO program. The NASA program is an effort to develop new opportunities to conduct important science investigations during the planned renewal of human exploration of the moon.

“Understanding the characteristics of lunar dust is essential to preparing for future human exploration of the moon and Mars under the Space Exploration Initiative,” said Grund, the principal investigator for the Ball Aerospace proposal. “The ALDO instrument would map the 3-D distribution of dust around lunar sortie experiment sites and record the dust environment not only on the moon, but on other airless bodies such as asteroids and other near-Earth objects.”

LSSO complements two new programs established in NASA’s science mission directorate Planetary Sciences Division: the Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) program, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LOR) Participating Scientist program. LSSO’s simple, “suitcase science” packages designed to be deployed on the lunar surface by astronauts could pave the way for a wide variety of research applications regarding the moon and the lunar environment.

NASA will announce later this year which of the seven proposals will result in follow-on funding for further development.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. Over the past 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2006 sales of $6.6 billion.

 

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates” 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 Exhibit 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which 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; crop 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; and changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; 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; pension changes; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.

 

 

 

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