Ball Aerospace & Technologies' products and services run the gamut from A to V -- antennas to video systems -- with stops in between for GPS equipment, high-tech subsystems, and systems integration. A subsidiary of Ball Corporation, the company manufactures satellites and spacecraft, instruments and sensors, antennas and microwave systems, and aerospace components for the military and commercial sectors; it also provides engineering services and testing. The company generates most of its sales from contract or subcontract work for agencies of the federal government.
The company has offices in Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Ball Aerospace has worked on such projects as the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. It designed the Kepler spacecraft and photometer for NASA's "planet-hunting" mission, which launched in the spring of 2009. The photometer is the largest camera that NASA has ever sent outside of the Earth's orbit.
Among other projects, Ball Aerospace was selected to build imaging instruments for NASA's proposed trip to Pluto; helped develop and integrate the Flyby and Impactor spacecraft for comet exploration; and assembled the NPP polar-orbiting satellite. It also completed camera systems for Mars projects, microwave imagers for weather satellites, and optics systems for large telescopes.
Sales and Marketing
The company generated more than 95% of its sales in 2014 from US government agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It works directly with the federal government as a contractor, as well as indirectly through subcontracting agreements.
Ball Aerospace contributed 10% of its parent's revenues in 2014. Aerospace and Technologies segment sales in 2014 increased $37.7 due to higher sales for civil space contracts and US national defense contracts. Segment earnings in 2014 increased $13.5 million as a result of favorable program execution and increased recovery of pension costs.
The company continues to focus its R&D activities on the design, development and manufacture of innovative aerospace products and systems. This includes the production of spacecraft, instruments and sensors, radio frequency and system components, data exploitation solutions and a variety of advanced aerospace technologies and products that enable deep space missions.
In 2015 Ball Aerospace signed on to support Principal Investigator Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University to develop the Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS) for a NASA mission to study Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The E-THEMIS is one of nine science instruments that will fly aboard a spacecraft to investigate whether Europa could harbor conditions suitable for life. The role E-THEMIS plays in the mission is to act as a heat detector.
The company was founded by the five Ball brothers in 1880 in Buffalo, New York. The Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company first produced the home canning jar.