Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Ball Aerospace Begins Environmental Testing for NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System-1 Satellite

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Press Release

2016 April 22

BOULDER, Colo. -- Ball Aerospace has begun environmental testing on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) satellite. JPSS-1 will represent significant technological and scientific advancements in severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring and will further weather, climate, environmental and oceanographic science.

Ball Aerospace is responsible for designing and building the JPSS-1 spacecraft, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir instrument, the integration of all instruments and performing satellite-level testing and launch support, under a procurement contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Environmental testing of the spacecraft and integrated instruments subjects the system to the simulated environments of launch and space to help certify mission readiness. The testing is underway in Ball's Fisher Complex, Boulder, Colorado, in the same facility where the spacecraft was built and integrated. Following acoustic, vibration, and electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility testing, the satellite will undergo thermal vacuum testing from July through early fall. The thermal vacuum testing will expose the satellite and its five instruments to the extreme temperatures experienced in space. A pre-shipment review is scheduled to be held in the fall prior to the spacecraft's shipment to California's Vandenberg Air Force Base for its planned early 2017 launch.

"Heading into the final series of environmental tests marks completion of the development and integration phase, on time and on schedule," said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball's Civil Space business unit. "We look forward to having the next polar-orbiting satellite on-orbit to ensure continuous coverage of precise and timely weather information."

Like its predecessor, the Ball-built Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, JPSS-1 hosts five instruments. They are:

The JPSS missions are funded by NOAA to provide global environmental data in low Earth polar orbit. NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems, launch services, and components of the ground segment.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for 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. Ball continues to invest and innovate in affordable, high resolution imaging systems, contributing to the needs of civil, military and commercial customers. For more information, visit

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,200 people worldwide and reported 2015 sales of $8.0 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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