Ball Aerospace Supports Critical Design Review of NASA’s SPHEREx Mission
Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Feb. 23, 2022 — Ball Aerospace supported completion of critical design review (CDR) for NASA’s Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission. Ball will now move forward with building the telescope and spacecraft.
In addition to designing and building the spacecraft and telescope, Ball Aerospace is responsible for conducting system integration and test, supporting integration of the spacecraft onto a launch vehicle, and commissioning of the spacecraft after launch, which is currently scheduled for no earlier than June 2024 and no later than April 2025.
“After completing separate CDRs for the spacecraft last June and for the telescope in November, this overall mission CDR is the final step before full assembly begins,” said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. “We are excited to move forward on developing the tools that will help NASA and the scientific community gain a better understanding of the universe’s formation.”
SPHEREx is the first all-sky near-infrared spectral survey. It will produce four complete all-sky maps during its two-year mission to study the nature of physics that drove cosmic inflation in the early universe and help to answer questions such as: How did the universe begin? How did galaxies begin? What are the conditions for life outside of the solar system? Dr. James Bock of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is the principal investigator for SPHEREx and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the managing center.
The SPHEREx observatory is considered a medium-sized satellite, about the size of a subcompact car. The spacecraft is based on the customizable and proven line of Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) buses. A smaller version of the BCP served as the basis for NASA’s Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer spacecraft, which launched in December on its mission to observe polarized X-rays from extreme objects, such as neutron stars, stellar and supermassive black holes.
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 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of $13.8 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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