Townsend has been vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace's Civil Space Systems division since joining Ball Aerospace in September 2004. In that role, he led the company's pursuit of civilian remote-sensing instruments and scientific instruments, spacecraft, and other flight hardware for prime contractors and civilian government agencies.
Ball Aerospace established its Huntsville office to create a permanent presence in the business community, as it pursues a contract to provide integration and production support to NASA for the Ares I Instrument Unit. The Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle will launch the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, the system currently being designed to replace the space shuttle after its retirement in 2010. Ares I, and the follow-on Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, are key elements of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration that include returning humans to the moon. Ball Aerospace is well-positioned to support NASA by offering crucial capabilities and technologies that enable human exploration and scientific discovery.
"In his new position as vice president for Exploration Systems, Bill Townsend leverages more than 35 years of experience in program management and large aerospace systems to meet the requirements of our NASA customer," said David L. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Ball Aerospace. "The pursuit of the Ares Instrument Unit is critical to continuing our expanding role in exploration."
Ball Aerospace offers decades of successful mission integration and large-scale subcontract management experience. This experience complements NASA's strategy for implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration program. Ball Aerospace, which was the lead mission integrator for the highly successful Deep Impact mission, is also the lead mission integrator for a second Discovery mission, Kepler, and is leading the development of the James Webb Space Telescope optical subsystem. Further, following installation of two new instruments aboard the Hubble Space Telescope during the 2008 servicing mission, Ball Aerospace will have built all of the operating Hubble instruments. The company also provides star trackers, cryogenic storage tanks, and keel latches for the space shuttle.
Before joining Ball, Townsend spent 40 years at NASA, most recently as the Deputy Center Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Townsend holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech. His roster of honors and awards includes two Presidential Rank, Meritorious Executive awards; two NASA Distinguished Service Medals; the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal; the NASA Exceptional Service Medal; the French Space Agency Bronze Medal; and the NASA GSFC's Robert C. Baumann Memorial Award for Mission Success.
Cary Ludtke, Ball Aerospace's vice president and general manager for Operational Space, has assumed leadership of both the Operational Space and Civil Space business units. Ludtke joined Ball Aerospace in 1986. Under his leadership the Operational Space unit demonstrated outstanding performance on cost-reimbursable contracts, as well as on the fixed-price programs that are the hallmark of Ball's commercial remote-sensing business.
Ball Aerospace 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. Over the past 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific "firsts" and now acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ball reported 2006 sales of $6.6 billion and employs 15,500 people.
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which are available at our Web site and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in consumer and customer demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials, including recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; industry productive capacity and competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including those associated with our beverage can end project; the German mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; and changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.