Boeing SBSS System Progressing Toward 1st Launch

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 05, 2009 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully completed initial satellite testing and has demonstrated end-to-end mission functionality of the ground and space systems of the integrated Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system.

When launched in spring 2009, SBSS will revolutionize the nation's Space Situational Awareness with enhanced performance by providing around-the-clock visibility to detect distant space objects without interference from weather, atmosphere or daylight.

"The SBSS team is making good progress on the path toward launch," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Jordan, the Space Situational Awareness Group commander in the Space Superiority Systems Wing at the Space and Missiles Center in Los Angeles. "The flexibility and capacity of the SBSS system are critical to space situational awareness."

Boeing's teammate, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., performed the space vehicle integration and functional testing and has demonstrated that the space vehicle meets all of its performance requirements. Previous testing of the satellite's payload demonstrated that performance requirements were met over simulated environments.

The SBSS team demonstrated end-to-end mission functionality starting with the generation of mission plans in the Satellite Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., in response to simulated tasking. These plans were sent via the encrypted Air Force satellite control network to command the flight space vehicle in Boulder, Colo., to take images using the payload optics. The Boeing-led team has also demonstrated progress toward operational readiness by completing the second full mission exercise. The exercise employed complete mission scenario using the SBSS ground segment and a space vehicle simulator.

"The importance of a space-based capability to monitor space assets cannot be overstated," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "Boeing is fully committed to the space situational awareness mission, and we look forward to providing this critical capability to our U.S. Air Force customer when we launch SBSS later this year."

Ball Corporation [NYSE: BLL] is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $7.4 billion.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
Contact Info:
Lewis Brinson
Space & Intelligence Systems
(310) 364-6125
Diana Ball
Space & Intelligence Systems
(562) 797-4303