Press Release

ICESat Performs Flawlessly

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2003
Filed under ,

The Ball Aerospace-built Ice,
Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), after being tuned by ground
commands, has performed flawlessly since its launch on Jan. 12. As its name
suggests, ICESat will measure ice sheet elevations at the Earth’s poles during
its planned five-year mission, helping scientists understand global warming.
Scientists expect to begin reviewing data by early summer.

The laser altimeter is now pointed at the frozen expanse of Antarctica as
ICESat makes a transcontinental crossing in 9.8 minutes. The satellite will
soon take ice measurements at 23,000 locations along the way. By way of
comparison, Sir Edmund Hillary needed 98 days to make the first comparable
scientific crossing in 1958.

“ICESat has already achieved several milestones in its progress toward
measuring the polar ice sheets,” said Zubin Emsley, Ball Aerospace ICESat
program manager.

As part of NASA’s Earth Observing System, the primary role of ICESat is to
quantify ice sheet growth or retreat. It was designed to answer questions
concerning many related aspects of the Earth’s climate system, include a
global climate change and changes in sea level.

The Ball Commercial Platform 2000 built by Ball Aerospace for ICESat is
specifically designed for remote sensing missions and was also used for the
QuikSCAT and QuickBird missions. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center designed
and built the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) for ICESat.

Since its launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, ICESat’s
central computer has called on one avionics unit after another to demonstrate
its capabilities. According to Emsley, all units are functioning to their
exacting specifications. After attaining calibration orbit through thruster
firings, GLAS will be activated in early February. GLAS will determine the
distance from the satellite to the Earth’s surface and to intervening clouds
and aerosols. It will do this by precisely measuring the time it takes for a
short pulse of laser light to travel to the reflecting object and return to
the satellite. To verify the precision of the measurements, a research
airplane will make passes over the desert of White Sands, N.M., while ICESat
passes 375 miles overhead. Photographs taken from the plane will indicate the
laser spots, and the results will be used to calibrate the GLAS measurements.

Image available at:

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides imaging and communications
products for commercial and government customers worldwide and is a subsidiary
of Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLLNews), a Fortune 500 company which had sales of
$3.7 billion in 2001.

Forward-Looking Statements:

The information in this news release contains “forward-looking”
statements. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those
expressed or implied. As time passes, the relevance and accuracy of
forward-looking statements contained in this release may change. The Company
currently does not intend to update any particular forward-looking statement
except, as it deems necessary at quarterly or annual release of earnings.
Please refer to the Form 10-Q filed by Ball Corporation on August 14, 2002,
for a summary of key risk factors that could affect actual results or
outcomes. Factors that might affect the Packaging segment or business of the
Company are: fluctuation in consumer and customer demand; competitive
packaging material availability, pricing and substitution; the weather;
vegetable and fishing yields; company and industry productive capacity and
competitive activity; lack of productivity improvement or production cost
reductions; regulatory action or laws, such as recycling or mandatory deposit
laws; availability and cost of raw materials, energy and transportation; the
ability or inability to pass on to customers changes in these costs,
particularly resin, steel and aluminum; pricing and ability or inability to
sell scrap; and international business risks (including foreign exchange
rates) particularly in developing countries such as China and Brazil. Factors
that may affect the Aerospace segment or business are: funding, authorization,
and availability of government contracts; and technical uncertainty associated
with Aerospace segment contracts. Factors that could affect the Company as a
whole include those listed plus: successful and unsuccessful acquisitions,
joint ventures or divestitures and the integration activities associated
therewith; the inability to purchase the Company’s common stock; regulatory
action or laws including those related to corporate governance and financial
reporting, regulations and standards, business consolidation investment costs
and the net realizable value of assets associated with the Company’s
activities; goodwill impairment; changes in generally accepted accounting
principles or their interpretation; litigation, including intellectual
property and antitrust; strikes; boycotts; interest rates and level of company
debt; terrorist activities, war or catastrophic events; and U.S. and foreign
economic conditions.

SpaceRef staff editor.