Ball Aerospace to Build Spacecraft for NASA Heliophysics Science Mission
Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team
The mission, called GLIDE, will help researchers understand Earth’s exosphere
BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 9, 2021 — Ball Aerospace was selected to build the spacecraft for NASA’s Global Lyman-alpha Imager of the Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) heliophysics science Mission of Opportunity. GLIDE will study variability in Earth’s exosphere, the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere where it touches space, by tracking far ultraviolet light emitted from hydrogen.
Dr. Lara Waldrop of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is the principal investigator for GLIDE and University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is managing the mission implementation.
“We are excited to work alongside NASA, the University of Illinois and UC Berkeley on this new heliophysics science mission,” said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. “Combining Ball’s flexible spacecraft with UC Berkeley’s innovative instrument provides a powerful solution to meet the needs of the scientific community’s understanding of our exosphere, enabling science at any scale.”
The GLIDE spacecraft design will be based on the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP), which is a customizable and proven spacecraft, designed for flexible, cost-effective applications, using a common spacecraft bus and standard payload interfaces to reduce cost, streamline payload accommodation and minimize delivery time.
Ball Aerospace is also designing and building the spacecraft for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Space Weather Follow On – L1 (SWFO-L1) mission, an operational heliophysics mission that will collect solar wind data and coronal imagery to meet NOAA’s operational requirements to monitor and forecast solar storm activity. SWFO and GLIDE are scheduled to launch together in the same launch vehicle to space.
Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care 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 21,500 people worldwide and reported 2020 net sales of $11.8 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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