Press Release

Ball Aerospace Delivering QuickBird 1 Remote-Sensing Satellite to EarthWatch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 20, 2000
Filed under

Two Colorado
companies working together are advancing the remote-sensing market for
commercial customers.

By the end of October, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of
Boulder, Colo., is scheduled to deliver its first of two QuickBird
remote-sensing satellites to EarthWatch Incorporated of Longmont,
Colo. QuickBird 1 is capable of taking one-meter panchromatic (black
and white) and four-meter multispectral (color) digital images of
Earth’s surface.

Earth remote sensing involves detecting and recording objects or
phenomena from a distance by using devices that take measurements of
the electromagnetic spectrum to characterize the landscape. In the
case of QuickBird 1, the satellite will circle the globe 600 km (about
372 miles) above Earth while the QuickBird sensor (a high-resolution
camera) gathers images of the Earth’s surface during daylight hours.
Satellite remote sensing can provide enormous amounts of data that
covers large areas in a cost-effective manner, typically less
expensive than comparable aerial photographic images. Additionally,
satellite imagery is in a digital format for immediate transfer to
computer database systems.

The Ball Aerospace-built QuickBird 1 uses the Ball Global Imaging
System 2000 satellite design. This system comprises the Ball
Commercial Platform 2000 (BCP 2000) spacecraft bus and a Ball High
Resolution Camera (BHRC 60). The BCP 2000 buses are part of Ball
Aerospace’s product assembly line that includes three additional
units: the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) built for NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is gaining
praise for tracking weather disturbances that aid hurricane
forecasters; Goddard’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite
(ICESat); and QuickBird 2.

“QuickBird 1 represents a tremendous achievement for both Ball
Aerospace and EarthWatch,” said David L. Taylor, vice president of
Ball’s Commercial Space Operations. “As a team, Ball Aerospace and
EarthWatch have worked hard to meet customers’ growing needs for
world-class images and services. The potential for the commercial
remote-sensing market is huge, and we aim to develop and maintain a
very strong foothold in this developing business. These two QuickBirds
are Ball Aerospace’s first commercial spacecraft built for a
non-government customer from our family of commercial products.”

The QuickBird 1 satellite will collect data while in a 66-degree
orbit, which allows variable imaging at any time during the day.
QuickBird 2 will be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit, providing
same time of day passes and consistent revisit scheduling for easy
monitoring of long-term trends. Once in operation, the two QuickBirds
will provide a constellation with imaging coverage and flexibility
unequaled in the remote-sensing industry. In addition to the
spacecraft bus and high-resolution camera, Ball Aerospace will provide
launch support and on-orbit commissioning support for the two

Demand for high-resolution satellite imagery near term is
estimated to be more than $1 billion annually. QuickBird 1 images have
multiple market applications for commercial businesses and government
agencies, including environmental monitoring, land use and public
works, mapping and cartography, resource management, agriculture and
forestry, and military target identification.

QuickBird 1 is slated for launch on a Russian Cosmos rocket from
the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides imaging and
communications products for commercial and government customers
worldwide and is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation, a
Fortune 500 company which had sales of $3.6 billion in 1999.

Forward-Looking Statements

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (BATC) is a subsidiary of Ball
Corporation. Certain forward-looking statements have been made or
implied in this news release. These forward-looking statements
represent the company’s goals and are based on certain assumptions and
estimates that involve a number of risks or uncertainties. Some
factors that could cause the company’s actual results or outcomes to
differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking
statements include risk factors listed in Ball Corporation’s Form 10-Q
filed on May 17, 2000. If the company’s assumptions and estimates are
incorrect, or if it is unable to achieve its goals, then the company’s
actual performance could vary materially from those goals expressed or
implied in the forward-looking statements.

Note to Editors: Electronic images available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.