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Ball Aerospace Instruments Enable Early Observations from NASA's Restored Hubble Space Telescope
September 9, 2009
NASA released this image on Sept. 9, 2009, as part of Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations. The Ball Aerospace-built Wide Field Camera 3 captured this image of a Butterfly Nebula.
Boulder, Colo. September 9, 2009 – The Hubble Space Telescope’s newest instruments built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. are demonstrating early promise for spectacular long-term results. NASA has released early observations from Hubble following installation of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), revealing new details about a variety of objects including interacting galaxies, globular clusters, and giant clouds of gas between distant galaxies.
“Ball Aerospace and Hubble have traveled three billion miles together since the launch in 1990 to provide NASA with astronomical discoveries that have proven pivotal to our understanding of the universe,” said David L. Taylor, President and CEO of Ball Aerospace. “We’re very proud to be a part of such an historic and successful NASA mission.”
Hubble’s new super powers are due to state-of-the-art instruments installed by astronauts during Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009. Astronauts also repaired two instruments previously built by Ball: the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. COS and the latest Wide Field Camera are equipped with the most advanced detector capabilities ever flown in space.
Ball Aerospace has been a key player on the Hubble program since our engineers designed and built the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement instrument that compensated for the original primary mirror. Ball has built seven instruments for Hubble including all four of the working science instruments currently onboard.
NASA anticipates that Hubble will continue to provide new and unprecedented data until its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is launched in 2014. Ball Aerospace is the principal subcontractor for the Webb’s advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system. The Webb’s primary mirror is more than twice the diameter of Hubble's and is designed to look still deeper into space to see the earliest stars and galaxies.
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.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging 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 14,000 people worldwide and reported 2008 sales of approximately $7.6 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.