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Ball Aerospace Green Propellant Mission to Test New Thermal Insulation

October 29, 2013

BOULDER, Colo., October 29, 2013 – NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) has been selected to test an advanced form of thermal insulation, called integrated multi-layer insulation (IMLI) that could become standard on future satellites and cryogenic subsystems. Validating this new insulation in space will help NASA build the technology required for long human spaceflight missions. Under a subcontract from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Quest Thermal Group LLC will manufacture the new insulation that will fly aboard the 2015 GPIM mission.

High performance insulation materials are required on spacecraft and cryogenic space systems to maintain consistent spacecraft and subsystem temperatures in the space environment to keep them operating longer and more efficiently.

“Flying IMLI aboard GPIM is a win–win for the program” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit. “Conventional insulation was necessary for the GPIM spacecraft, and now we can fly a section of the IMLI at no extra cost to the program and prove it for operational use."

The new IMLI offers many benefits to conventional insulation. By utilizing rigid spacers instead of netting to separate radiation layers, it is structurally more robust, lighter and easier to install. It also has a nearly 30 percent thermal performance increase over conventional multi-layer insulation; the IMLI’s increased thermal capability is critical for minimizing heat transference and boil-off of cryogenic storage systems.

The IMLI manufacturer, Quest, a small company located in Arvada, CO, is developing the technology under small business innovative research (SBIR) contracts to NASA.

“Utilizing a small business to innovate a new product and adding it to the GPIM mission demonstrates the synergy between all of the Space Technology project offices to develop and infuse technology into the market,” added Oschmann. “Our collaboration on GPIM further enables NASA to demonstrate another critical technology needed to make future space missions safer, more efficient and more cost effective.”

GPIM is a project for NASA’s Technology Mission Demonstration (TDM) program managed by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). The primary purpose of the mission is to demonstrate the viability of an alternative propulsion system for spacecraft other than hydrazine by flying a “green” propulsion system on a Ball-built small satellite. Ball Aerospace, the prime contractor and principal investigator, leads a team of co-investigators including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Edwards Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for 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 supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions 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 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve productivity improvements or 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 or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; 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; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt.

 

 

 

 

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