Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.'s Kepler Mission for NASA has been honored by Aviation Week and Space Technology with the publication's prestigious Laureate Award. The annual awards recognize individuals and teams for their extraordinary accomplishments and the inspiration they provide for others to strive for significant, broad-reaching progress in aviation and aerospace.
Ball Aerospace was the prime contractor for NASA's Kepler Mission, designed to search for rocky, Earth-sized planets around other stars. Ball Aerospace built the photometer and spacecraft, and managed system integration and conducted testing for the Discovery Class mission.
Kepler has been continuously and simultaneously monitoring the brightness of more than 100,000 stars since its launch in 2009. In December 2011, Kepler confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count.
"Ball Aerospace is proud to be honored for its contribution to the Kepler Mission by Aviation Week's Laureate award for space," said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO. "The Laureate Award for this pioneering spacecraft and its revolutionary scientific discoveries recognizes the dedication of hundreds of Ball Aerospace employees."
The award was presented by Aviation Week, the industry's premier news publication, during a black-tie event March 7, 2011 at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The publication annually presents Laureate Awards in 10 categories and Kepler received the award in the category for space.
Ball Aerospace was previously honored by Aviation Week's Laureate Awards when the comet-colliding Deep Impact mission was a finalist for the space award in 2006. Ball Aerospace was also a member of the team that won the space award from Aviation Week in 1994, for the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing 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) 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 http://www.ball.com.