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Ball Aerospace-built WISE Satellite Launches from Vandenberg

December 14, 2009

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Photo courtesy of ULA

BOULDER, Colo.– Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. announced today that the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite built for NASA successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 6:09:33 a.m. on board a Boeing Delta II rocket.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the WISE spacecraft, led all satellite level testing and is supporting operations under contract to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The WISE RS-300 spacecraft derives from the versatile, space-proven Ball Aerospace NextSat spacecraft built for the successful 2007 Orbital Express mission. The flight system has an estimated weight of 661 kilograms (1,433 pounds) and will fly at an altitude of 525 kilometers (326 miles). The spacecraft is three-axis stabilized, with body-fixed solar arrays and uses a high-gain antenna to transmit images to a geostationary satellite system.

The WISE mission is a NASA Explorers Program led by Dr. Edward Wright of the University of California, Los Angeles. WISE will survey the entire sky in infrared light to create a catalog of hundreds of millions of objects. The 10-month mission will measure more than 100,000 asteroids in the solar system, and identify hundreds of stars in the solar neighborhood that have not yet been seen – including perhaps those closest to the Sun. The data will create a map for future infrared missions, including the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled to launch in 2014, as well as NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes.

WISE is one of several cryogenically cooled infrared systems supported by Ball Aerospace. Other programs have included the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) for the Hubble Space Telescope.

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. For more information visit www.ballaerospace.com.

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 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2008 sales of approximately $7.6 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 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; 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 or tax rates. 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 recession 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 climate change, or 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.

 

 

 

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