Ball Aerospace-built STPSat-3 Satellite Launches from Wallops Island, VA

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. STPSat-3 satellite built for the Department of Defense and part of the Operationally Responsive Space-3 (ORS-3) mission, successfully launched from Wallops Island, VA, on board a Minotaur I at 8:15 p.m. EST.  

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STPSat-3 joins its predecessor, the Ball-built STPSat-2, which launched in 2010 on the same date.  These satellites demonstrate the ability to rapidly access space by using standard interfaces on a standard spacecraft bus. Payloads are designed to be compatible with the spacecraft bus, resulting in lower spacecraft non-recurring costs, shorter acquisition timelines, decreased spacecraft build costs, and increased spaceflight opportunities.

"Standard interfaces allowed rapid satellite integration and test, and for the spacecraft bus to be built in 47 days independently of the payloads," said Ball Aerospace President Rob Strain. "In less than a year, STPSat-3 was an integrated, fully-tested and ready-to-ship satellite with five payloads and a de-orbit module."

Ball Aerospace has integrated the standard spacecraft bus used on STPSat-2 and STPSat-3 into its Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) product line to offer customers more affordable and responsive space missions. 

One of the instruments onboard the satellite, the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) Calibration Transfer Experiment (TCTE) is a sensor hosted for NOAA and NASA. The sensor, built by CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will provide for continual calibration of the sun's total energy input to the Earth, which affects Earth's atmosphere and weather patterns.

"With very minor modifications and close collaboration with partners, the TCTE instrument was adapted for Ball's flexible STPSat-3 spacecraft to provide critical weather information for the nation," added Strain. "STPSat-3 was the perfect option to enable a quick ride to space and mitigated a possible total solar irradiance gap after the precursory TSI-measuring instrument experienced a launch failure in 2011."

STPSat-3 is managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Development & Test Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico as part of the Space Test Program, Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) program. 

The ORS-3 Mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, will demonstrate launch and range improvements to include: automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a commercial-like procurement with FAA licensing of a Minotaur 1; and launch the Air Force's Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 cubesats on an Integrated Payload Stack.  These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call up mission, they automate engineering tasks that once took months and reduce those timelines to days and/or hours  resulting in decreased mission costs.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for 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. For more information, visit www.ballaerospace.com.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve productivity improvements or cost reductions; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; political instability and sanctions; and changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt.

SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.



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