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Ball Aerospace Selected by NASA to Study Solar Electric Propulsion Spacecraft
November 30, 2011
BOULDER, Colo., November 30, 2011 – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is one of five companies that will develop mission concepts for demonstrating solar electric propulsion in space, important for NASA’s future deep space human exploration missions. The five companies were each awarded study contracts up to $600K.
Ball will work with NASA to define a mission concept that will demonstrate the solar electric propulsion technologies, capabilities, and infrastructure required for sustainable, affordable human presence in space.
“Moving payloads reliably and cost effectively from low Earth orbit to high-energy orbits is critical for deep space human and robotic exploration and relies on the systems engineering expertise Ball is known,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president of Ball’s Civil and Operational Space business unit. “In addition to solar electric propulsion and power-related advanced technologies, Ball has broad capabilities on deep space missions, as well as spaceflight systems engineering and integration, including modular design implementation.”
The extremely high efficiency of solar electric power-based propulsion can deliver the large amounts of logistics support equipment required for deep space human exploration within an executable launch infrastructure.
The mission concept studies will identify technology gaps and look at innovative technical solutions for transportation using solar electric propulsion systems. NASA will use the studies to plan and implement a future flight demonstration mission that will test and validate key capabilities and technologies.
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.
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; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget and debt limit; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.