News Release

Nation's Next Polar-orbiting Weather Satellite Heads Toward Finish Line for Instrument Integration

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BOULDER, Colo., April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has integrated four of the five complex instruments that will fly onboard the nation's next polar-orbiting weather satellite and is moving toward environmental testing by early 2016 with on-time delivery scheduled for late 2016, followed by launch scheduled for no later than the second quarter of 2017.

Polar weather satellites contribute 85 percent of the data that goes into numerical weather prediction models. NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) will be responsible for delivering the primary contribution from the afternoon orbit.  Launch of the instrument-loaded orbiter will continue accurate/reliable weather forecasting and provide severe storm warnings that protect lives and property across our nation.

"The steady progress on JPSS-1 means the nation will soon have a second next generation polar-orbiting satellite and the significance of that for protecting lives and property cannot be underestimated," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager of Ball's Operational Space business unit. "Better forecasts are a critical enabler of what NOAA envisions as 'A Weather-Ready Nation' and Ball is proud to do its part."

When launched, JPSS-1 will continue the accurate and timely polar-orbiting weather data currently only available from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite and it instruments, with a satellite bus also built by Ball Aerospace. On orbit since 2011, Suomi-NPP delivers operational high-quality atmospheric, oceanographic, and land surface data for the nation's weather mission. 

The JPSS-1 instruments integrated to date include:

  • Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrlS)
  • Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
  • Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N)
  • Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES)

Following integration of the final instrument to fly on JPSS-1, Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) later this year, the JPSS-1 satellite will enter environmental testing.

Under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace is responsible for designing and building the JPSS-1 satellite bus, building the OMPS-Nadir instrument, integrating all instruments, and performing satellite-level testing and launch support. NOAA provides the funding and requirements for JPSS and teams with NASA, which procures the flight and portions of the ground segment.

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. Ball continues to invest and innovate in affordable, high resolution imaging systems, contributing to the needs of civil, military and commercial customers.  For more information, visit

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) 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 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2014 sales of $8.6 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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 Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product demand fluctuations; availability/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; customer and supplier consolidation, power and supply chain influence; 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; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns 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; and successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures, including, with respect to the proposed Rexam PLC acquisition, the effect of the announcement of the acquisition on our business relationships, operating results and business generally; the occurrence of any event or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of our definitive agreement with Rexam PLC in respect of the acquisition; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against us related to the definitive agreement with Rexam PLC; and the failure to satisfy conditions to completion of the acquisition of Rexam PLC, including the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

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