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

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:13pm EST

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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
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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.


Roz Brown, +1-303-533-6059, rbrown@ball.com

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