News Release

Ball Aerospace NPP Weather Satellite Passes Pre-Environmental Review

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BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has announced that the fully-integrated NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) weather satellite has successfully completed its Pre-Environmental Review (PER) on-schedule in advance of flight environmental testing.  The launch is slated for October 2011, with a mission duration of five years.



The last of five instruments to fly aboard the polar-orbiting satellite was successfully integrated in July. The pre-environmental review of the flight satellite configuration with the full suite of instruments was conducted last week at Ball's Boulder production and test facility by a group of multi-disciplinary experts from NASA and NOAA, as well as a number of independent reviewers. Environmental testing includes vibration, acoustics, shock, electromagnetic interference and compatibility and thermal vacuum.

"NPP is rapidly progressing from one milestone to the next," said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. "The successful pre-environmental review of the satellite with its diverse set of operational instruments demonstrates excellent performance to-date and readiness to proceed into flight acceptance testing."

The five-instrument suite includes: the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS); the Clouds and the Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES); the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS); and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS).  

Ball Aerospace built the OMPS instrument, and also built the NPP spacecraft under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The Ball Commercial Platform (BCP) 2000 was modified to successfully accommodate all five of the NPP instruments.  Ball Aerospace recently announced that it was awarded a sole source contract from NASA for a second Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite (OMPS) instrument to fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).  JPSS is scheduled to launch in 2014.  

NPP's advanced visible, infrared, and microwave imagers and sounders will improve the accuracy and timeliness of climate observations and enhance capabilities to the nation's civil and military users of satellite data.

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

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic 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 14,000 people worldwide and reported 2009 sales of more than $7.3 billion.

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 at our Web site and at 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; 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 current global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including in respect of climate change, 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; 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.