Press Release

Ball Aerospace Selected by Thales for Iridium NEXT Integration Role

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2009
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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and Thales Alenia Space have agreed to work jointly on the next-generation satellite constellation Iridium NEXT program. Ball Aerospace’s possible roles and responsibilities would be assembly, integration and test (AI&T) for the Iridium satellites.

Under the current agreement, Ball Aerospace will apply its payload accommodation experience and product-line approach, leveraging decades of experience in producing commercial fixed-price remote sensing satellites. The company will process as many as four spacecraft at one time through its Boulder-based satellite production facility.

Additionally, Ball Aerospace will advise Thales Alenia Space on possible hosted secondary payload opportunities to serve the needs of a variety of defense and civil missions.

“Ball Aerospace brings nearly five decades of space segment payload integration and test experience to the Thales offering,” said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. “Together, Thales and Ball Aerospace are a formidable team in the competition to provide the next generation Iridium system.”

“Thales Alenia Space confirms the addition of Ball Aerospace to the Iridium NEXT team. They are the last link in the value chain to Iridium and will provide both the quality and dedication required to build this challenging NEXT constellation,” said Emmanuel Grave, Executive Vice President Telecommunication of Thales Alenia Space.

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.
Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic 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 2008 sales of approximately $7.6 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.