Ball to build space antenna for NASA

BOULDER — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was chosen by NASA to build a new antenna that will link a spacecraft to Earth during its launch, the company said in a press statement Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed between Boulder-based Ball Aerospace and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Ball Aerospace is a division of the packaging company Broomfield-based Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL).

The Ball Reliable Advanced Integrated Network, or BRAIN, will be able to send data for seven to 12 minutes during the launch phase of a spacecraft mission, according to the press statement.

“Ball Aerospace is leveraging our company’s extensive phased-array antenna expertise for the Defense Department to demonstrate the SLS antenna,” David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and chief executive said in a press statement.

At the same time, workers at Ball Aerospace are continuing to develop a special antenna for the Orion spacecraft being built by Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems & Solutions (NYSE: LMT). Lockheed has Colorado offices, including one in Boulder. Ball is supplying other components to Lockheed Martin for Orion as well, including docking cameras, star trackers and a vision navigation system.

Ball Aerospace also supports missions for the Department of Defense, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other government and commercial entities. Ball Corp. employs more than 14,500 people around the globe and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion.

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