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Ball Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review of NASA's IXPE Mission

Press Release From: Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A preliminary design review of NASA's Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) space-based astrophysics observatory was completed in late June at Ball Aerospace's Boulder, Colo. facility led by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, with support from Ball Aerospace, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and other industry partners.

IXPE is a Small Explorer, or SMEX mission, which is part of NASA's Astrophysics Explorer Program. Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is the principal investigator for the mission. Once launched in 2021, IXPE will measure the polarization of cosmic X-rays to improve our understanding of the fundamental physics of extreme and exotic objects in the universe.

"The IXPE mission is an excellent example of a highly-integrated government and industry working together for a common goal," said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager of Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "IXPE will explore, and for the first time discover, hidden details of some of the most unique objects in our universe, such as neutron stars and stellar and supermassive black holes."

Ball Aerospace is responsible for providing the IXPE spacecraft, mechanical and structural elements of the payload, observatory assembly, integration and test and mission operations for IXPE. Ball Aerospace will leverage its Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) heritage, a satellite bus that has a history of exceeding mission design life. The BCP has a broad spectrum of capabilities, is highly-reliable and has proven stability and pointing performance, which are essential for astrophysics missions. For example, the versatile BCP line has flown in a variety of orbits with a wide assortment of payloads, including electro-optical payloads (Kepler photometer, Deep Impact imagers, Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite spectrometer) with high-accuracy pointing requirements such as NASA's Kepler telescope. The IXPE mission will fly the smallest BCP model, about the size of a mini refrigerator, which is similar in size to the BCP built for the upcoming launch of NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission.

Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most.  We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, personal care 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 17,500 people worldwide and reported 2017 net sales of $11 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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