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.
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 85% of its sales in 2011 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 contributes nearly 10% of its parent's revenue. In 2011 it reported sales of $785 million, up 10% from 2010. Net income was also up, rising 14% to $80 million. The division's success was due in part to growth in its US national defense contracts, which was enough to offset a decline in sales from civil space programs.
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.