Ball Aerospace Completes Integration of Opto-Mechanical Assembly for Roman Space Telescope Instrument
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Dec. 5, 2022 — Ball Aerospace successfully completed alignment and integration of the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) opto-mechanical assembly for NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. The company has moved into the functional testing of the opto-mechanical assembly and WFI integration, which is expected to be completed by mid-2023.
The alignment and integration of the opto-mechanical assembly includes structural integration, installing the alignment compensation mechanism that ensures precise focus of the large infrared focal plane detector, and integration of the element wheel. The element wheel rotates the WFI optical components (filters, prism and grism), which are used to perform imaging and multiple wavelengths and spectroscopy.
“What the James Webb Space Telescope has done in terms of sharp, detailed views of the Universe, Roman will do in terms of scale,” said Dr. Alberto Conti, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. “We just reached a significant milestone in the development of the instrument that will make these unprecedented wide-field views possible, helping to unravel the secrets of dark energy, discover exoplanets and other capabilities.”
With an anticipated launch by mid-2027, the Roman Space Telescope (formerly known as WFIRST) will use its large primary mirror, spanning nearly eight feet, to capture images equal in quality to those of the Hubble Space Telescope but with a WFI field of view that is more than 100 times greater. This will enable the observatory to conduct comprehensive and efficient surveys of the infrared sky, answering high-priority scientific questions related to the evolution of the universe and the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars.
The completed opto-mechanical assembly provides the stable structure and thermal environment that enables the wide field, high quality observations of the WFI, developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Functional testing of the WFI opto-mechanical assembly will be followed by integration with GSFC’s calibration and focal plane systems and then environmental testing for the completed WFI will be conducted through the first quarter of 2024, followed by delivery to GSFC.
Ball Aerospace’s work with NASA on the Roman Space Telescope continues a relationship that spans nearly 60 years. Ball Aerospace has played a role in all of NASA's Great Observatories and built seven science instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system for the James Webb Space Telescope.
Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care 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 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of $13.8 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,” “believes,” and similar expressions typically identify forward-looking statements, which are generally any statements other than statements of historical fact. Such statements are based on current expectations or views of the future and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied. You should therefore not place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements and they should be read in conjunction with, and qualified in their entirety by, the cautionary statements referenced below. Ball undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be different are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in Ball’s Form 10-K, which are available on Ball’s website and at www.sec.gov. Additional factors that might affect: a) Ball’s packaging segments include product capacity, supply, and demand constraints and fluctuations and changes in consumption patterns; availability/cost of raw materials, equipment, and logistics; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; footprint adjustments and other manufacturing changes, including the startup of new facilities and lines; failure to achieve synergies, productivity improvements or cost reductions; unfavorable mandatory deposit or packaging laws; customer and supplier consolidation; power and supply chain interruptions; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; inability to pass through increased costs; war, political instability and sanctions, including relating to the situation in Russia and Ukraine and its impact on Ball’s supply chain and its ability to operate in Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions generally; changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; and tariffs, trade actions, or other governmental actions, including business restrictions and shelter-in-place orders in any country or jurisdiction affecting goods produced by Ball or in its supply chain, including imported raw materials; b) Ball’s aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) Ball as a whole include those listed above plus: the extent to which sustainability-related opportunities arise and can be capitalized upon; changes in senior management, succession, and the ability to attract and retain skilled labor; regulatory actions or issues including those related to tax, environmental, social and governance reporting, competition, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. Federal Drug Administration and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in Ball’s containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; the ability to manage cyber threats; litigation; strikes; disease; pandemic; labor cost changes; inflation; rates of return on assets of Ball’s defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding geopolitical events and governmental policies, including policies, orders, and actions related to COVID-19; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting Ball’s debt; and successful or unsuccessful joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, and their effects on Ball’s operating results and business generally.
# # #