BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is one of four companies that will study the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space under a contract to NASA. Each company was awarded up to $600K to accomplish this half-year effort.
The contract calls for Ball Aerospace to work with NASA to develop a mission concept to test and validate key capabilities and technologies required for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants to and from advanced propulsion stages and propellant depots, important for the agency's future deep space human exploration missions.
Under a directive from President Barack Obama, NASA is pursuing human missions to an asteroid by 2025. Such a mission would require space-based fuel depots and/or pre-positioned cryogenic propulsion stages. The concept study will determine how to close current gaps in technology to achieve that goal. A demonstration mission to confirm a sustainable, affordable solution will eventually follow the mission concept study.
"Embarking on a human presence in space beyond the space shuttle program will require the kind of innovative technologies Ball is known for," said Cary Ludtke, vice president of Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit. "Ball's experience in analysis, design and fabrication of spaceflight cryogenic systems and components dates back 40 years with cryogenic spaceflight instruments and more than 100 cryogenic space flights."
Ball Aerospace has a lengthy heritage on a broad variety of cryogenic and thermal systems – from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to the Power Reactant Storage Assembly tanks for the space shuttle program. Directly applicable to the current NASA contact was a two-year long feasibility study conducted by Ball Aerospace in 1988 for the Cryogenic On-orbit Liquid Depot-Storage Acquisition and Transfer (COLD-SAT) satellite.
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.