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Ball Aerospace Supports NASA Astrophysics Mission Concepts

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by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) May 21, 2008
Ball Aerospace and Technologies has been selected to support seven NASA astrophysics strategic mission concept studies for its next generation of major space observatories.

Ball Aerospace will support Principal Investigator (PI)-led studies representing a broad range of scientific objectives, from searching for and characterizing planets around nearby stars, to observing the formation and evolution of organic materials in space, to studying the formation and evolution of stars, black holes, galaxies and the structure of the universe.

Results from these studies will be presented to the next Decadal Survey conducted by the National Research Council, which advises NASA on priorities for funding of future missions. The seven study contracts include:

- The Astrobiology Space Infrared Explorer (ASPIRE) mission, led by PI Dr. Scott Sandford, NASA Ames Research Center, will study organic compounds in space in order to determine how they are formed, how they evolve, and how they find their way to planetary surfaces.

- The ExoPlanet Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) mission, led by PI Dr. Mark Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, will provide the first direct measurements of a broad range of fundamental physical characteristics of giant planets in other solar systems.

- The New Worlds Observer (NWO) mission, led by PI Dr. Webster Cash, University of Colorado, Boulder, will find planets, some Earth-like, that circle our neighboring stars, and will study their formation, evolution, surfaces, atmospheres, and chemistry that show signs of life.

- The eXo-Planet Characterization (XPC) mission, led by PI Dr. David Spergel, Princeton University, will detect extrasolar planets and find signs of life by measuring oxygen, ozone, methane, and water in their atmospheres.

- The Ultraviolet Space Observatory (USO) mission, led by PI Dr. Kenneth Sembach, Space Telescope Science Institute, will perform fundamental tests of cosmological theory, and will observe the intergalactic gas called the "cosmic web" to determine its impact on the formation of galaxies and stars.

- The Generation-X (Gen-X) mission, led by PI Dr. Roger Brissenden, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, is an X-ray telescope to study the formation and evolution of the very first black holes, stars and galaxies from when the universe was 200 million years old.

- The Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAS-T), led by PI Dr. Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute, is a candidate UV/optical space telescope mission with up to 45 times the collecting area of the Hubble Space Telescope, that will enable major advances in astrophysics and the search for life in the Galaxy.

Ball Aerospace and 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.

For more than 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific 'firsts' and acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.

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European Space Showcased All Under One Roof At ILA2008
Berlin, Germany (SPX) May 19, 2008
As it does every two years, Berlin will soon be showcasing European and international space activities at the ILA2008 Air Show from Tuesday 27 May to Sunday 1 June. In Hall 9, an International Space Village spanning a large area will be exclusively devoted to space, presenting the entire range of activities, products and services available in Europe and elsewhere.







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