BOULDER, Colo., March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. congratulates NASA, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute for this year's selection by the National Space Club to receive the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy. Ball Aerospace is proud to have supplied the Ralph instrument for the successful New Horizons mission encounter with Pluto in July 2015.
Ball Aerospace president Rob Strain said it's been satisfying to see a mission that began while he was Center Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center come full circle by achieving its goals during his leadership at Ball.
"Capturing images of an object three billion miles from Earth after a spacecraft journey of 10 years is no small feat," said Strain. "The Goddard trophy acknowledges the ingenuity NASA and its industry partners achieved for the New Horizons mission."
The annual Goddard trophy is presented to an individual, group or program deemed to have made the most significant contribution to space activity in the previous year. First celebrated in 1958, the Goddard awards are presented near the anniversary of the first successful flight of a liquid-fueled rocket by Dr. Goddard. The trophy for New Horizons was presented at the 59th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner March 11, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Additional awards were presented to a number of outstanding individuals for accomplishments in spaceflight, engineering, science, management and education.
Ball's Ralph instrument is one of three cameras aboard the New Horizons spacecraft, charged with making the maps that detail the dwarf planet Pluto, its moons, and other Kuiper Belt objects. The 23-pound Ralph instrument hosts a suite of image detectors boasting resolution 10 times better than the human eye while using only seven watts of power. After traveling nearly ten years and three billion miles, New Horizons passed by Pluto on July 14, 2015 coming within 7,000 miles of Pluto's icy surface before shooting into the unexplored region known as the Kuiper Belt.
The New Horizons mission was honored earlier this month with the prestigious Laureate Award from the Aviation Week and Space Technology publication. In addition, Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Mission, Alan Stern was selected by the American Astronautical Society to receive the 2016 Carl Sagan Memorial Award, which recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to the field of space exploration.
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. Ball continues to invest and innovate in affordable, high resolution imaging systems, contributing to the needs of civil, military and commercial customers. For more information, visit http://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 2015 sales of $8.0 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.