BOULDER, CO /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is one of five companies that will develop mission concepts for demonstrating solar electric propulsion in space, important for NASA's future deep space human exploration missions. The five companies were each awarded study contracts up to $600K.
Ball will work with NASA to define a mission concept that will demonstrate the solar electric propulsion technologies, capabilities, and infrastructure required for sustainable, affordable human presence in space.
"Moving payloads reliably and cost effectively from low-Earth orbit to high-energy orbits is critical for deep space human and robotic exploration and relies on the systems engineering expertise Ball is known," said Cary Ludtke, Vice President of Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit. "In addition to solar electric propulsion and power-related advanced technologies, Ball has broad capabilities on deep space missions, as well as spaceflight systems engineering and integration, including modular design implementation."
The high efficiency of solar electric power–based propulsion can deliver the large amounts of logistics support equipment required for deep space human exploration within an executable launch infrastructure.
The mission concept studies will identify technology gaps and look at innovative technical solutions for transportation, using solar electric propulsion systems. NASA will use the studies to plan and implement a future flight demonstration mission that will test and validate key capabilities and technologies.
About Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important 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 Corp. 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 Corp. and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2010 sales of more than $7.6 billion.