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Ball Aerospace Completes Successful Thermal Vacuum Testing for Nation's Next Weather Satellite

May 17, 2011

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Ball Aerospace has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing for the NPP satellite, as it moves closer to a planned October 25, 2011, launch.

May 17, 2011 – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing for NASA’s NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite to advance the spacecraft closer to a planned October 25, 2011, launch.

The two-month-long test, which concluded on April 27, verified that the NPP spacecraft and five-instrument suite meet requirements to function properly in a space-like environment. Post-environmental performance testing is now underway, to be followed by a pre-ship review. In August, the spacecraft will be delivered to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif., for launch preparations.

The polar-orbiting NPP satellite will continue providing long-term weather forecasting and environmental monitoring that began following launch of the nation’s first weather satellite on April 1, 1960. Since then, both polar and geostationary weather satellites have provided life-saving planning and decision making information for weather and other natural disasters.

“Given the fact that the U.S. has more severe weather than any other country, it’s crucial that decision makers have seamless data from the nation’s next weather satellite to protect the country’s economic stability,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for the Ball Aerospace civil and operational space business unit. “This major milestone puts NPP a step closer to providing those continued observations.”

NPP will fly a suite of advanced-technology remote sensing instruments that include:

  • The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) 
  • The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) 
  • The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) 
  • The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) 
  • The Clouds and the Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES)

Under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace is providing its BCP 2000 spacecraft bus under fixed-price terms for NPP, and as well as the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument. NPP has a seven-year design life, with a five-year mission life and incorporates both MIL-STS-1553 and IEEE 1394 (Fire Wire) data. In addition, NPP’s Common Ground System will be employed for the first time.

Video B-roll of the NPP satellite is available at: http://ballaerospace.wistia.com/m/2Y1WbY

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 (NYSE:BLL) 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 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2010 sales of more than $7.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.


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 on our website 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; political instability and sanctions; 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 recent global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions affecting products filled in our containers, 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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