Media Contact: Roz Brown or call 303-939-6146
Ball Aerospace Satellites Provide Double-Coverage for NASA's EPOXI Mission
October 5, 2010
WISE caught a glimpse of Comet Hartley 2 that the EPOXI mission will visit in November 2010.
Boulder, Colo. - The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace has captured an image of Comet Hartley 2, the comet that another of Ball’s spacecraft – the Deep Impact Flyby - is scheduled to image on November 4.
The Deep Impact mission accomplished its goal five years ago when the satellite’s Impactor separated from the Flyby spacecraft and collided with deep-space comet Tempel 1, excavating material from the nucleus of the comet. The encounter occurred nearly 83 million miles from Earth on July 4, 2005. The Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft used its two instruments to image the impact and with plenty of fuel onboard, has since been “recycled” to perform two additional missions – the Deep Impact eXtended Investigation (DIXI), and the Extrasolar Planet Observations and Characterization (EPOCh), together known as the EPOXI mission. The planet-hunting phase ended in mid-2008, but on November 4, the Flyby spacecraft is expected to capture imagery and spectra from Comet Hartley 2.
The WISE spacecraft launched in December 2009 to create a full sky, infrared map, including more than 150,000 asteroids and more than one hundred comets. The image captured by WISE of Comet Hartley 2 on May 10, 2010, provides the science team with a large-scale infrared picture that will show how the comet has changed in the past six months when compared to the image that will be taken on November 4.
The WISE image of Hartley-2 can be seen online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/multimedia/gallery/pia13438.html
WISE ended its cryogenic portion of the mission in September, and began a new phase of its survey, called the NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Mission, to focus primarily on finding additional asteroids and comets.
Ball Aerospace’s multi-decade legacy in cryogenically-cooled infrared systems was continued on WISE, based on other successful programs including the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, the Cosmic Background Explorer, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer for the Hubble Space Telescope.
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 (JPL). For the Deep Impact mission, Ball Aerospace teamed with scientists, engineers and mission designers from the University of Maryland and JPL to design the two Deep Impact spacecraft and science instruments.
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 (BLL: NYSE) is a supplier of high-quality 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 2009 sales of more than $7.3 billion including discontinued operations.
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.