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Ball Aerospace Completes NPP Instrument Verification and Test

February 9, 2006

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The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft will employ a modified Ball Commercial Platform 2000 to accommodate NPP's four instruments.

BOULDER, Colo. - Ball Aerospace completed, ahead of schedule, the integration of the engineering models for three of the instruments scheduled to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft bus. The models will test and verify mechanical and electrical interfaces between the instruments and the spacecraft before installation of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CRiS) and the Ball Aerospace-built Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) is completed later next year.

In addition, Ball Aerospace helped to develop and qualify the first fault-tolerant, spacecraft-to-payload 1394 interface for use in space, and completed verification of the interface on NPP's instrument engineering models. The 1394 interface is used for high-data-rate applications and operates at 100 megabits per second.

The NPP Project is a joint effort between the NPOESS Integrated Program Office and NASA. Scheduled to launch later this decade, NPP is expected in orbit prior to the end of the EOS Aqua mission, as well as to provide data overlap with the NPOESS spacecraft.

Ball Aerospace celebrates its 50th year in business in 2006. The company began building pointing controls for military rockets in 1956, and later won a contract to build one of NASA's first spacecraft, the Orbiting Solar Observatory. Over the years, the company has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific 'firsts.' Ball Aerospace now develops spacecraft, payloads, systems and components for important national missions.

Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems and components for government and commercial customers. The company employs more than 13,500 people worldwide.

Forward-Looking Statements
The information in this news release contains "forward-looking" statements and other statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," and variations of same and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking 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 the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially in Exhibit 99.2 in the most recent Form 10-K. These filings are available at our Web site and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in consumer and customer demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials, including due to the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; fruit, vegetable and fishing yields; industry productive capacity and competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including those associated with our beverage can end project; the German mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; international business risks, including foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting on earnings. Factors that might affect aerospace segment include: funding, authorization and availability of government contracts and the nature and continuation of those contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that could affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; boycotts; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or management's evaluation of the company's internal control over financial reporting.

 

 

 

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