NASA‘s Ames Research Center has given the Group Achievement Award to Ball Aerospace in recognition of the company’s solar pressure approach that helped the Kepler Space Telescope continue operating.
The company said Wednesday it developed an approach that directed Kepler observatory spacecraft to use solar pressure and thrusters for control as alternatives to one of the spacecraft’s malfunctioned reaction wheels.
“The Ball Aerospace culture fosters a collaborative and inclusive work environment, which enables us to understand the needs of, and work closely with, our NASA customer,” said Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace’s civil space division.
Ball Aerospace was the prime contractor, builder and integrator for the Kepler spacecraft and corresponding missions.
The observatory operated for a total of nine years and discovered over 2.6K planets and half a million stars in the solar system.
NASA deactivated the Kepler on Oct. 30.