News Release

Kepler Mission Team Awarded Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Trophy

Download the news release PDF

BOULDER, Colo., March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been recognized for its role in confirming the age-old hope that planets and planetary systems are ubiquitous in the universe.

Established in 1985, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum presents its annual trophy to recognize both past and present achievements involving the management or execution of a scientific or technological project, a distinguished career of service in air and space technology, or a significant contribution in chronicling the history of air and space technology.

"Ball Aerospace is very proud to receive one of the Smithsonian Institution's most distinguished honors," said Ball Aerospace President, Robert D. Strain. "The Kepler mission launched a new era in astronomy and we continue to benefit by the extraordinary data being discovered in the pioneering search for exoplanets." 

Kepler launched in 2009 and has since confirmed more than 1,000 planets around stars and collected evidence for thousands more that are awaiting confirmation.  Kepler finished its primary mission in 2012 and began an extended mission.  In 2013, the mission appeared to be over when two of four reaction wheels failed and the spacecraft lost its stability.  The team, however, could not accept missing out on additional science discoveries from Kepler, and proposed the K2 mission to NASA, after Ball Aerospace developed an innovative way of recovering pointing stability by using solar pressure to control the spacecraft. K2 became operational in June 2014.

Ball Aerospace was the prime contractor for NASA's Kepler Mission, designed to search for rocky, Earth-sized planets around other stars. Ball designed and built the Kepler spacecraft, which includes the sensitive photometer used to find planets and operates Kepler for NASA. 

NASA Ames Research Center is responsible for Kepler's mission concept, ground system development, science data analysis and K2 mission operations. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and was funded by the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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.

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 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.


Photo -

Logo -


SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.