Colorado packaging firm Ball Corporation’s subsidiary Ball Aerospace announced this week the delivery of scientific instruments made in part with recycled aluminium.
In 2022, Ball Aerospace delivered to University of Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) scientific instruments for NASA’s Lunar Compact InfraRed Imaging System (L-CIRiS). Upon arrival on the Moon, L-CIRiS will begin collecting infrared panoramic images of the satellite’s surface, which will be the first such images made.
Bell says the images collected by L-CIRiS will allow scientists to analyze the Moon’s temperature and geology. Such data will be used by NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), which is part of NASA’s Artemis program.
Part of L-CIRiS is a specialized mirror known as a Zenith mirror, which Ball constructed using its proprietary recycled aluminium alloy ReAl. Designed in conjunction with Ball Corporation’s Aerosol and Beverage divisions, ReAl has the same strength-to-weight ratio of conventional aluminium alloys but up to half the carbon footprint thanks to its recycled content.
Jason Galley, senior director Innovation & Business Development at Ball Aerosol Packaging, said in a press release that ReAl’s use on the equipment is an important milestone.
“The inclusion of ReAl® on the L-CIRiS instrument is an incredibly exciting opportunity that reflects the strength of cross-divisional collaboration, as well as being a testament of Ball’s commitment to aluminum innovation.”
“L-CIRiS is an example of Ball Aerospace’s commitment to developing technology that will enable the science of tomorrow, coupled with the sustainable and innovative re-use of recycled aluminum for a space application,” explained Alberto Conti, vice president and general manager, Civil Space at Ball Aerospace.