Ball Aerospace Completes Performance Testing for James Webb Space Telescope Aft Optics Subsystem

 Ball Aerospace Completes Performance Testing for James Webb Space Telescope
                             Aft Optics Subsystem

PR Newswire

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 16, 2013

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Corp. has completed all performance testing for NASA's James Webb Space
Telescope aft-optics subsystem (AOS) under contract to the Northrop Grumman



Since May of 2012, the AOS has undergone a series of tests including thermal
and vibration, followed by cryogenic testing to demonstrate that it can
withstand the rigorous vibration environment of the rocket launch and remain
precisely aligned in order to function at extremely cold temperatures in
space. The AOS will remain at Ball Aerospace to be used during integrated
testing with the flight actuator drive unit and AOS source plate assembly.
This AOS is the final optical subsystem of the James Webb Optical Telescope
Element to complete integration and test activities at Ball Aerospace.

"Each optical element that Ball Aerospace is building for the Webb is
extremely sophisticated and the successful completion of another milestone
brings us one day closer to the launch of NASA's next major space
observatory," said Ball Aerospace President and CEO David L. Taylor.

The AOS is a precision beryllium rectangular optical bench that houses the
tertiary and the fine steering mirror installed at the center of Webb's
primary mirror. The AOS is surrounded by a shroud that eliminates stray light,
and two large radiator panels that keep the assembly cold. This subsystem
collects and focuses the light from the secondary mirror and feeds it into the
science instruments.

Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical
technology and lightweight mirror system for NASA's Webb Telescope. In total,
Ball has designed and delivered the Webb's 18 beryllium primary mirror
segments, secondary and tertiary mirrors, a fine steering mirror, and several
engineering development units.

In September 2012, Ball began the process of shipping the finished Webb
primary mirrors to Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The remaining
mirrors will arrive at Goddard this year, awaiting telescope integration in
2015. The Webb is on track for an October 2018 liftoff.

The Webb telescope is critical for future infrared observations and will serve
as the premier observatory of the next decade.

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

Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) is a supplier of high quality packaging for
beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other
technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation
and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported
2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other
company information, please visit

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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

Contact: Roz Brown, +1-303-533-6059,
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