VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA's NPP satellite built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was successfully launched into a sun-synchronous polar orbit this morning at 2:48 PDT (5:48 EDT).
NASA's first Earth-observing satellite to measure both global climate and key weather data lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Delta II rocket. NPP's five science instruments will make critical measurements to provide long-term climate projections and data to improve short-term weather forecasts.
Ball Aerospace built the BCP 2000 satellite bus for Goddard Space Flight Center under fixed-price terms. Ball also built one of the five sensors aboard NPP - the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite – an instrument that will measure how much ozone is in our atmosphere and how the ozone concentration varies with altitude.
"We are confident NASA's long-standing Earth-observation records will dramatically improve with the successful launch of NPP," said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. "The NPP mission will bridge critical data while Ball Aerospace builds the first next-generation polar-orbiting satellite - JPSS-1."
JPSS-1 is the Joint Polar-Orbiting Satellite System scheduled to launch no earlier than 2017. JPSS data and imagery will further increase timeliness, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of public warnings and forecasts of climate and weather events.
NPP has a five-year mission life and a seven-year design life. The spacecraft bus is the eighth spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace on the same BCP core architecture. In all, this architecture has more than 50 years of successful on-orbit operations. Additionally, the NPP spacecraft incorporates both MIL-STD-1553 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) data networks to support the payload suite.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important 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 2010 sales of more than $7.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.