Ball Aerospace Final Mirrors for James Webb Space Telescope Arrive at Goddard
Space Flight Center
18 Beryllium Primary Mirror Segments Ready for Telescope Integration
BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 18, 2013
BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The final three of eighteen
primary mirrors built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for the James
Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have arrived at Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md. for integration prior to a scheduled launch in 2018.
Once on orbit, the 18 hexagonal mirror segments will work together as one
21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror, the largest mirror ever flown in space
and the first to deploy in space. Ball Aerospace also developed the secondary
mirror, tertiary mirror, and fine-steering mirror. Ball is the principal
optical subcontractor for the Webb Telescope, led by prime contractor Northrop
Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems.
"Ball's sophisticated mirror architecture will provide James Webb with the
most advanced infrared vision of any space observatory ever launched by NASA,"
said Robert Strain, Ball Aerospace president. "A huge amount of teamwork was
needed to meet the exacting requirements for the telescope's optical design
and we're eager to see the results."
The premier observatory for the next decade, James Webb will be stationed 1
million miles (1.5 million km) from Earth – some four times farther away from
us than the Moon. The Webb will be the most powerful space telescope ever
built, able to detect the light from the first galaxies ever formed and
explore planets around distant stars. It will study every phase of our
universe's history, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang,
to the formation of stellar systems capable of supporting life on planets like
Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.
Ball began an incremental process of shipping the finished mirrors to Goddard
in September 2012. The mirrors are housed in custom shipping containers
designed specifically for the multiple cross-country trips the mirrors made
through eight U.S. states during manufacturing. Each container is hermetically
sealed to handle atmospheric pressure changes caused by shipping from high
elevations such as Boulder to locations at or near sea level such as
In addition to the Webb telescope, Ball Aerospace has played a significant
role in astrophysics and planetary missions including Kepler, the Hubble Space
Telescope, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the Spitzer Space
Telescope, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, the Cosmic Background
Explorer, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the upcoming Sentinel Mission.
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 http://www.ball.com or connect with us on Facebook or
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Contact: Roz Brown, 303-533-6059, email@example.com
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