Aerospace Small Ball Satellite for NASA Green Propeller Mission Ready for Launch


BOULDER, Colorado., June 21, 2019 / PRNewswire / – A Ball Ball Aerospace satellite used for NASA's Green Propeller Infusion Mission (GPIM) is ready for launch, scheduled for no earlier than June 24 aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Ball built the small satellite, which contains NASA's first opportunity to demonstrate a new "green" propeller and in-orbit propulsion system – an alternative to conventional chemical propulsion systems.

"GPIM has the potential to inspire new ideas and new missions, which could mean smaller spacecraft, faster and easier ground processing, longer design lives and more," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace Civil Space. "Ball is also developing small satellites for two other NASA missions – the X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) and the Spectro Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) missions."

As the principal contractor for GPIM, Ball Aerospace is responsible for systems engineering; flight propeller performance check; review of soil and flight data; space shuttle; assembly, integration and testing; and launch and flight support. The space shuttle is the smallest of the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) satellites, which is about the size of a mini-refrigerator, and was assembled in just 46 days. BCP provides standard payload interfaces and simplified procedures, allowing fast, accessible access to space with proven in-flight performance. There are currently two small BCP satellites in orbit: the STPSat-2, launched in November 2010and STPSat-3, launched in November of 2013. The two STP satellites were built for the US Air Force Space Test Program's Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) project.

The GPIM is part of the NASA Technological Demonstration Missions program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and Christopher McLean of Ball Aerospace serves as the principal investigator. The mission will demonstrate the practical capabilities of the AF-M315E, a monopropellant of hydroxylammonium nitrate fuel and oxidant developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

In addition to STMD and Ball Aerospace, the GPIM team includes: Aerojet Rocketdyne; US Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base; the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and three NASA field centers – the NASA Glenn Research Center in Ohio, From NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

The GPIM is one of several payloads released as part of the STP-2 Department of Defense's mission managed by the US Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. Another payload, the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2 (COSMIC-2) satellite, carries five Ion Velocity Meters built by Ball and designed by University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) that will measure a parameter of the space climate environment as part of a successful technology transfer program. COSMIC-2 is a joint mission, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Air Force, Taiwan National Space Organization and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Fueled by endlessly curious people with an unshakable mission focus, Aerospace Ball pioneering discoveries that allow our customers to act beyond expectations and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, conduct thoughtful observations of our planet, provide actionable data and information, and ensure that those who defend our freedom move forward bravely and return home safely. Go further with the Ball.® For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Ball Corporation

(NYSE: BLL) Ball Corporation provides innovative and sustainable packaging solutions to beverage, personal care and household products customers as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily to the US government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 17,500 people worldwide and recorded 2018 net sales of US $ 11.6 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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SOURCE Ball Aerospace

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