The Aerospace-Built Ball Mirror and Optical System was launched today aboard the James Webb Space Telescope


BROOMFIELD, Col., December 25, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Ball Aerospace celebrates the launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) today from French Guiana. the ColoradoThe London-based company designed and built the advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system that will allow Webb to detect light from early stars and galaxies.

“It is truly an honor to be an integral part of the next great space observatory,” said Dr. Makenzie lystrup, Vice-President and General Manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. “Today’s launch is the culmination of hard work by a tightly integrated team that spans multiple mission partners and NASA. We are extremely excited to see the science captured by the new observatory. “

Announced as the Next Generation Space Telescope in 1996 and renamed the James Webb Space Telescope in 2002, the Space Science Observatory is the largest and most complex ever to be built. Once in orbit, Webb will capture the faint light of the very first objects that lit up the universe after the Big Bang.

To make this possible, Ball Aerospace worked with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrop Grumman, the main industrial partner, to innovate the 25 square meter (~ 269 square feet) mirror system consisting of 18 mirror segments in beryllium working together as a single mirror. It will be the largest mirror and the first segmented telescope ever deployed in space, operating in the extremely cold space temperature of -406⁰ F (30K) required for infrared imaging of distant stars and galaxies.

Ball also developed the cryogenic actuators mounted on each segment to control the individual positioning of the mirrors and the radius of curvature within a ten-thousandth of the width of a human hair. To align the mirror segments, Ball also designed the 22 electronic flight control boxes to operate in a freezing space environment to individually control each of the 132 actuators that keep the telescope segments properly aligned in orbit.

To innovate, validate and demonstrate the technologies used to develop Webb’s pioneering optical system, Ball Aerospace drew on its extensive experience with space hardware designed for NASA’s four major observatories (Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope).

Ball also plays a vital role in other upcoming space observation missions. He partners with Goddard to develop the wide-field instrument for the Nancy Grace Roman space telescope and provides the space bus and telescope for the spectrophotometer for the history of the universe, the epoch of reionization and the ice explorer (SPHEREx). Earlier this month, the Ball-built Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) launched from the Kennedy Space Center with the aim of uncovering the inner workings of some of our universe’s most exotic astronomical objects, such as neutron stars and black holes.

Powered by infinitely curious people with an unwavering mission, Aerospace Ball pioneering discoveries that allow our clients to go beyond their expectations and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, conduct insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure that those who defend our freedom bravely advance and return home safely. Go beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) provides innovative and sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the United States government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 21,500 people worldwide and reported 2020 net sales of $ 11.8 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “believes” and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements, which are generally statements other than statements of historical fact. Such statements are based on current expectations or visions of the future and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied. You should therefore not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and they should be read in conjunction with, and qualified in their entirety by, the cautionary statements referenced below. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The key factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 of our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at Additional factors that could affect: a) our packaging segments include product capacity, supply and demand constraints, as well as fluctuations and changes in consumption patterns; availability / cost of raw materials, equipment and logistics; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; climate and weather changes; footprint adjustments and other manufacturing changes, including the start-up of new facilities and lines; the inability to achieve synergies, productivity improvements or cost reductions; unfavorable laws on compulsory deposit or packaging; consolidation of customers and suppliers; power and supply chain disruptions; changes in the contracts of major customers or suppliers or the loss of a major customer or supplier; inability to pass on increased costs; political instability and sanctions; currency controls; changes in exchange rates or taxes; and tariffs, trade actions or other government actions, including trade restrictions and shelter-in-place orders in any country or jurisdiction affecting goods produced by us or in our supply chain, including imported raw materials; b) our aerospace industry includes the financing, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting sector contracts; c) the Company as a whole comprises the persons listed above, plus: the extent to which sustainable development opportunities arise and can be exploited; changes in senior management, succession and the ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce; regulatory actions or issues, including those related to taxation, ESG reporting, competition, environment, occupational health and safety, including US FDA and other public actions or concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; the ability to manage cyber threats; litigation; strikes; sickness; pandemic; changes in labor costs; inflation; the rates of return on the assets of the Company’s defined benefit pension plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding geopolitical events and government policies, including policies, orders and actions related to COVID-19; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and successful and unsuccessful joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, and their effects on our results of operations and our business in general.

SOURCE Aerospace Ball

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