Market Overview

Ball Aerospace Completes Performance Testing for James Webb Space Telescope Aft Optics Subsystem

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed all performance testing for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope aft-optics subsystem (AOS) under contract to the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130116/LA43566)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/LA39163LOGO)

Since May of 2012, the AOS has undergone a series of tests including thermal and vibration, followed by cryogenic testing to demonstrate that it can withstand the rigorous vibration environment of the rocket launch and remain precisely aligned in order to function at extremely cold temperatures in space. The AOS will remain at Ball Aerospace to be used during integrated testing with the flight actuator drive unit and AOS source plate assembly. This AOS is the final optical subsystem of the James Webb Optical Telescope Element to complete integration and test activities at Ball Aerospace.

"Each optical element that Ball Aerospace is building for the Webb is extremely sophisticated and the successful completion of another milestone brings us one day closer to the launch of NASA's next major space observatory," said Ball Aerospace President and CEO David L. Taylor.

The AOS is a precision beryllium rectangular optical bench that houses the tertiary and the fine steering mirror installed at the center of Webb's primary mirror. The AOS is surrounded by a shroud that eliminates stray light, and two large radiator panels that keep the assembly cold. This subsystem collects and focuses the light from the secondary mirror and feeds it into the science instruments. 

Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical technology and lightweight mirror system for NASA's Webb Telescope. In total, Ball has designed and delivered the Webb's 18 beryllium primary mirror segments, secondary and tertiary mirrors, a fine steering mirror, and several engineering development units.

In September 2012, Ball began the process of shipping the finished Webb primary mirrors to Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.  The remaining mirrors will arrive at Goddard this year, awaiting telescope integration in 2015. The Webb is on track for an October 2018 liftoff.

The Webb telescope is critical for future infrared observations and will serve as the premier observatory of the next decade.

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 (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 2011 sales of more than $8.6 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; 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.

SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

 

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