NASA's STS-125 Astronauts Visit Ball Aerospace

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Five of the seven astronauts who will make repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during the 2009 space shuttle mission visited Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. on November 14.

Ball Aerospace has a lengthy history with the Hubble Space Telescope. Ball built two instruments to be installed during the 2009 servicing mission: the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3. Following NASA's Hubble repair mission, all five major instruments in operation on the orbiting observatory will have been built by Ball. The mission had been planned for October 2008, but was delayed when an anomaly occurred aboard the telescope in September, requiring additional time to prepare a second data handling unit that will also be installed during the mission.

"The work accomplished in space by America's astronauts always inspires us and invokes great pride," said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace President and CEO. "The long anticipated final mission to Hubble will be very significant for Ball Aerospace and we were honored to host the crew and get their unique perspectives on the final servicing mission."

Crew members included: veteran astronaut Scott D. Altman, who will make his fourth space flight and his second trip to Hubble when he commands the final space shuttle servicing mission to the telescope next year; retired Navy Capt. Gregory C. Johnson, a NASA research pilot who will make his first space flight as pilot for STS-125; and three mission specialists: veteran spacewalker, John M. Grunsfeld, making his fifth space flight and third visit to Hubble; and Michael T. Good and Andrew J. Feustel, who will be aboard for their first space flight following selection by NASA as astronauts in 2000.

The STS-125 crew participated in a HST status review, toured the Ball Aerospace facilities, and met with employees to discuss the 11-day mission to Hubble planned for May 2009.

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. Since 1956, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific 'firsts' and acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products 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 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $7.4 billion.

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