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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., a unit of Ball Corporation (BLL - Analyst Report), has been chosen by the U.S. Air Force to reduce risks associated with the Weather Satellite Follow-on program. According to the contract, Ball Aerospace will work on the next generation of microwave sounding and imaging instruments.

In the course of addressing the nation's defense weather requirements, Ball Aerospace will help the Air Force to develop an affordable system for space-based environmental sensing.

Ball Aerospace, in another contract awarded by the Space and Missile Systems Center, will explore the requirements of the Department of Defense. It will measure soil moisture and ocean surface vector winds with the help of a microwave instrument.

Ball Aerospace also supports critical missions for national agencies such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and other U.S. government and commercial entities.

To promote the cost effective remote sensing systems for defense, civil and commercial applications, Ball has built the satellite bus and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument for the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, NOAA's polar-orbiting weather satellite. Ball is currently building the satellite bus and an additional copy of OMPS for NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System.

Recently, Ball Aerospace has begun the integration phase for Worldview-3, the next generation commercial remote-sensing satellite, which is being built for DigitalGlobe. The satellite is scheduled to be launched in mid-2014.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corp., which belongs to the containers and packaging industry along with Greif, Inc. (GEF - Snapshot Report), Mobile Mini, Inc. (MINI - Snapshot Report) and Silgan Holdings Inc. (SLGN - Analyst Report), is the largest manufacturer of beverage cans in North America. It also supplies aerospace and other technologies and offers services to government and commercial customers.

Ball Corp. currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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