Ball Aerospace to Build Spacecraft for NASA's SPHEREx Mission

The Medium-class Explorer will probe the origin of the universe, evolution of galaxies and explore whether planets around stars could harbor life

BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace was selected by NASA to build the spacecraft for the Spectro Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), a Medium-class Explorer mission. Ball is also responsible for the system integration and test, support for integration of the spacecraft onto a launch vehicle and commissioning of the spacecraft after launch.

The SPHEREx mission will study the nature of physics that drove cosmic inflation in the early universe; determine the properties of interstellar ices, a key reservoir for water and biogenic material in the early phases of star and planet formation; and probe the cosmic history of galaxy formation. 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.

"Ball Aerospace is committed to supporting the goals of NASA and the science community to explore and understand our universe," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "Our extensive heritage across a wide breadth of NASA science and exploration mission classes informs our development of technology that will enable the science of tomorrow - providing science at any scale."

The SPHEREx bus will be based on the Ball Aerospace customizable and proven line of Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 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. The BCP series consistently exceeds spacecraft design life – including serving as the spacecraft for explorer-class missions such as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. WISE mapped the celestial sky and was later repurposed as NEOWISE after completing its primary mission in order to hunt for near-Earth objects.

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 or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable 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 17,500 people worldwide and reported 2018 net sales of $11.6 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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