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Ball Aerospace Wins Ares Flight Computer Contract
April 1, 2009
BOULDER, Colo.– Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been selected by The Boeing Company as the contractor for the Ares I Instrument Unit Assembly (IUA) Flight Computer (FC) and Command Telemetry Computer (CTC).
Ball Aerospace will employ its Common Computing Architecture for the IUA to build three flight computers that operate synchronously, and two command telemetry computers per Ares I flight. The synchronous operation of the flight computers provides the fault tolerance necessary to ensure astronaut safety. The computers are the “brains” of the rocket, and will control and monitor the flight of the Ares I rocket following liftoff and until separation of the second stage.
“Ball Aerospace has supported NASA’s human space flight activities since Gemini, through Apollo, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle,” said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO. “We are proud to continue our support by providing hardware for Ares I, supporting Boeing in enabling NASA’s next generation of more capable Exploration vehicles.”
The Ball Aerospace computers for the IUA are based on its mature, space-proven flight computing and human-rated avionics expertise. The high-reliability design applies Ball’s system engineering expertise to deliver a safe, fault-tolerant product at a price that supports the low life cycle costs that enable the Ares I program. Ball has applied the same rigor and discipline to the Ares I FC and CTC that has enabled the company’s 53-year safety and performance record. Ball Aerospace is the sole source for human-rated star trackers for the space shuttle program, and Ball’s mechanical components, cryogenics and optical systems fly aboard every space shuttle mission.
Ares I is the crew launch vehicle being developed by NASA to launch Orion, the next spacecraft designed for human spaceflight missions following retirement of the space shuttle program in 2010.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of national importance for 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. Since 1956, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and is a technology innovator in aerospace.
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2008 sales of more than $7.5 billion.
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 product demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including our beverage can end project; 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; changes in senior management; the current global credit squeeze and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including in respect of chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; 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.