Ball completes design review of new weather satellite

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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., a division of manufacturer Ball Corp. (NYSE: BALL), has completed the critical design review of the Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 spacecraft, which it is building for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A render shows a Ball Aerospace weather satellite in orbit. (Bullet/NASA-SOHO/courtesy photo)

Completion of the review means Ball is ready to begin production and testing of the spacecraft.

The space weather spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2025. It will collect solar wind data and coronal images to monitor and forecast the impacts of solar storm activity, according to a press release.

“The impacts of solar events such as coronal mass ejections can be significant, ranging from shutting down communications satellites to disrupting the power grid,” said Makenzie Lystrup, Civil Space vice president and general manager for Ball. Aerospace, in a statement. “SWFO will be an important tool in NOAA’s mission to monitor space weather, provide timely and accurate warnings, and help minimize the impact of these events on our infrastructure and economy.”

NASA selected Ball Aerospace for the project in partnership with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ball will also perform satellite-level testing, help train the flight operations team, verify the satellite in orbit, and support mission operations.

Ball Aerospace is also building an operational environmental satellite for the US Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center called Weather System Follow-on—Microwave. This satellite will host an energetic charged particle space weather sensor in addition to its primary instrument for measuring ocean surface vector winds and tropical cyclone intensity, according to the press release.

This article was first published by BizWest, an independent news agency, and is published under a license agreement. © 2022 BizWestMedia LLC.

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