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  • Dan Powers

Ball Building Spacecraft for NASA's Heliophysics GLIDE Mission

Ball Aerospace was selected to build the spacecraft for NASA’s Global Lyman-alpha Imager of the Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) heliophysics science Mission of Opportunity. GLIDE will study variability in Earth’s exosphere, the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere where it touches space, by tracking far ultraviolet light emitted from hydrogen.

“We are excited to work alongside NASA, the University of Illinois and UC Berkeley on this new heliophysics science mission,” said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. “Combining Ball’s flexible spacecraft with UC Berkeley’s innovative instrument provides a powerful solution to meet the needs of the scientific community’s understanding of our exosphere, enabling science at any scale.”

The GLIDE spacecraft design will be based on the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP), which is a customizable and proven 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.

Ball Aerospace is also designing and building the spacecraft for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Space Weather Follow On – L1 (SWFO-L1) mission, an operational heliophysics mission that will collect solar wind data and coronal imagery to meet NOAA’s operational requirements to monitor and forecast solar storm activity. SWFO and GLIDE are scheduled to launch together in the same launch vehicle to space.

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