BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A more than 40-year employee of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been selected to receive the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for outstanding contributions to a NASA mission. Marda Barthuli has been recognized for excellence in helping resolve a spacecraft anomaly and for the execution of engineering processes and configuration management for NASA's CloudSat mission.
"It literally takes my breath away to receive such a wonderful commendation, and it certainly puts the icing on the cake of my 40-plus years with Ball and all the people who supported me along the way," said Barthuli.
In 2011 Barthuli's expertise was integral to a Ball Aerospace team that successfully recovered the Cloudsat spacecraft and science payload functions following the spacecraft's battery failure. CloudSat, a multi-satellite, multi-sensor NASA experiment designed to reveal the inner secrets of clouds and improve weather forecasts and climate predictions was built by Ball for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The battery anomaly would have crippled the mission had the Ball team not determined how to transition the spacecraft into a new operating mode, known as Daylight Only Operations in November 2011. The spacecraft was then maneuvered back into its position in the A-Train constellation in May 2012. CloudSat is now in its eighth year on orbit after launching in 2006.
"This effort took enormous creativity, a strong stomach, and a really, really good sense of humor," said Barthuli. "But in the end it was a proud moment for our team and our JPL and Air Force colleagues."
Barthuli joined Ball Aerospace in 1971 after graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in mathematics. In addition to CloudSat, she serves as the mission operations manager for the QuikSCAT satellite, also built by Ball for NASA. She is the first woman at Ball Aerospace to receive the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal.
In 2012 the entire Ball CloudSat team was recognized by NASA with a group achievement award. In addition, Ball's Ian Graveseth and Brian Pieper were earlier recipients of the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal award for their achievements on the CloudSat mission.
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 and international 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 http://www.ballaerospace.com/.
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 2013 sales of $8.5 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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 www.sec.gov. 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; 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; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; 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.
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140918/147145
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/LA39163LOGO
SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.