Press Release

NASA Selects Ball Aerospace for New Millennium Program

By SpaceRef Editor
February 22, 2001
Filed under ,

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has
been selected by NASA to develop a new technology concept for the next New
Millennium Program.

“We are designing a flight experiment to show the effects of acquisition,
tracking and pointing (ATP) on a lasercom link,” said Ball Aerospace’s
Roy Nelson, LSM Laser Subsystems manager. “NASA is interested in laser
communications between spacecraft, spacecraft and Earth, and for sending
data from deep space and outlying planets to Earth.”

Ball Aerospace, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
in Pasadena, Calif., will demonstrate rapid acquisition and precision
tracking of celestial objects from a space platform and precision
acquisition tracking and pointing from space to a receiving ground station,
explained Nelson. A laser transmitter will be integrated to the ATP
instrument and will serve to validate both the line-of-sight pointing
stability and precision.

The six-month study contract is valued at $500,000.

Ball Aerospace is among eight teams developing these new technologies. NASA
will select up to five of these new concepts for flight-tests planned in
2003 and 2004. Each team is to demonstrate its flight validation readiness
and deliver a study report. An independent review board at NASA will select
the final concepts that will fly in Space Technology 6, the name given to
this New Millennium Program project.

The New Millennium Program, created in 1994, is managed by JPL for NASA’s
Office of Earth Science and Office of Space Science. The program’s purpose
is to develop and flight-validate advanced technologies in order to lower
costs and facilitate critical performance of future science missions.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides imaging and communications
products for commercial and government customers worldwide and is a
subsidiary of Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL), a Fortune 500 company which
had sales of $3.7 billion in 2000.

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 Nov. 15, 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.

SpaceRef staff editor.