Jun 11, 2015, 07:07 ET
BOULDER, Colo., June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will support Principal Investigator Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University (ASU) to develop the Thermal Emission Imaging System for a NASA mission to study Jupiter's moon, Europa.
The E-THEMIS is one of nine science instruments that will fly aboard a spacecraft to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon of Jupiter could harbor conditions suitable for life.
"We are proud to be part of the Europa mission to support ASU in the development of an instrument for NASA's search for life beyond Earth in our solar system," said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball's Civil Space and Technology business unit.
The E-THEMIS instrument will be built at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. ASU will do the instrument design, fabrication, assembly, test and calibration, along with mission operations and science data processing. Ball Aerospace will provide the engineering model and flight electronics, and will lead the development of the radiation-hardened microbolometer (used as a detector in a thermal camera) focal plane assembly and the design and implementation of the system radiation hardening and mitigation.
"The role E-THEMIS plays in the mission is to act as a heat detector," says Christensen. "It will scan the surface of Europa at high resolution for warm spots." The E-THEMIS heat detector helps locate active sites, such as potential vents erupting plumes of water into space.
Cameras built by Ball Aerospace aboard the Hubble Space Telescope previously returned images showing plumes of water shooting out from the surface of the Europa moon. Confirmation of the plumes' existence by E-THEMIS could link the plumes to a subsurface ocean and help scientists investigate the chemical makeup of Europa's potentially habitable environment.
Europa is one of four large Jovian moons and is about the size of Earth's moon. Scientists believe a global ocean of salty water may lie 40 miles (70 kilometers) below Europa's crust. If so, Europa could harbor more than twice as much water as Earth's oceans.
A previous THEMIS instrument led by Arizona State University flew aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter to help scientists better understand how the mineralogy of Mars relates to its landforms.
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 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2014 sales of $8.6 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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 product demand fluctuations; availability/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; customer and supplier consolidation, power and supply chain influence; 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; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns 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; and successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures, including, with respect to the proposed Rexam PLC acquisition, the effect of the announcement of the acquisition on our business relationships, operating results and business generally; the occurrence of any event or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of our definitive agreement with Rexam PLC in respect of the acquisition; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against us related to the definitive agreement with Rexam PLC; and the failure to satisfy conditions to completion of the acquisition of Rexam PLC, including the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
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