Exploring the Universe

Millions of Miles into Deep Space

What are comets made of?  The Deep Impact dual spacecraft found out when it impacted and imaged Comet Tempel 1 located 83 million miles from Earth. We designed both the Impactor and the Flyby spacecraft plus two instruments. The High Resolution Instrument (HRI) was the first of its kind and was powerful enough to resolve a car from across the state of Colorado. It used technologies we developed for the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope.  The Flyby spacecraft’s other instrument is the Medium Resolution Instrument (MRI), which provided science context, ejecta imaging and targeting.

New Horizons Ralph

Download to learn how Ralph was designed to be the "eyes" of the New Horizons mission.

File Type:
PDF
File Size:
1.50mb

Decadal Survey Report

Learn how Ball proudly supports the decadal survey process, including upcoming priority missions we have a role in.

File Type:
JPG
File Size:
205.84kb

ULTRA Program

Read about Ball's ULTRA-Stable Telescope research and analysis.

File Type:
PDF
File Size:
7.55mb
Searching for Earth’s Twin

Searching for Earth’s Twin

Kepler/K2

In its five years on-orbit, Kepler revolutionized humankind’s understanding of extrasolar planets by finding thousands of planetary candidates, hundreds of multi-planet systems and much more. We are serving as the mission prime contractor for the K2/Kepler mission, which includes responsibility for the spacecraft and photometer, system integration, testing and on-orbit operations. 

Image Credit: Artist’s concept Kepler 186f. Credit: NASA
The Solar System and Beyond

The Solar System and Beyond

HiRISE

The largest telescopic instrument ever sent beyond Earth’s orbit is our Hi-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since its 2005 launch, HiRISE has been returning images of the surface of the red planet at a higher resolution and contrast than ever before.

Image Credit: Victoria Crater Mars. Credit: NASA, JPL, Univ. of Arizona, Ohio State Univ.
Revealing Pluto’s Mysteries

Revealing Pluto’s Mysteries

The Ralph Imager

The amazing photos returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft were taken by our instrument Ralph. It traveled more than 3 billion miles over nearly 10 years to reach the distant planet and operated perfectly once it got there.  The images revealing Pluto’s exotic geology and atmosphere that Ralph sends back are astounding scientists and rewriting text books.

Image Credit: Pluto’s blue haze atmosphere. Credit: NASA
Space Weather

Space Weather

Providing Solar Impacts to Human Activity

The Sun regularly releases massive amounts of radiation and charged particles through solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and other high-energy emissions. Collectively referred to as space weather, these events can endanger astronauts in space, interfere with satellites and damage communications and power grid infrastructure, causing significant economic impact.

Ushering in a new generation of space weather observing satellites, the Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) mission is scheduled to launch in 2024 and facilitate early warnings for destructive space weather events. SWFO-L1 will collect solar wind data and coronal imagery to meet NOAA’s operational requirements to monitor and forecast solar storm activity.

Building on the success of our spacecraft buses designed for operational weather missions like NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP, Ball was selected to deliver and operate a high-performing small satellite for the SWFO-L1 mission in partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The small satellite will host several instruments to measure and assess the space weather environment.

Image Credit: Ball/SOHO
EPOXI/Deep Impact

EPOXI/Deep Impact

The EPOXI and Deep Impact missions have provided scientists with extremely valuable data on the nature of comets.

More
HiRISE

HiRISE

We built the HiRISE camera that provides images of both predicted and unknown features on Mars’ surface.

More
K2/Kepler

K2/Kepler

Leading the search for exoplanets and making pioneering discoveries.

More
NEOWISE/WISE

NEOWISE/WISE

Mapping the celestial sky and revealing previously undiscovered objects in the solar system.

More
New Horizons/Ralph

New Horizons/Ralph

Ball built the Ralph instrument, a core member of the seven instruments aboard New Horizons.

More
STORRM

STORRM

A next generation docking camera and navigation system to make docking and undocking to the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft easier and safer.

More
SWFO-L1

SWFO-L1

The Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) mission will facilitate early warnings for destructive space weather events.

More