Sunday, March 07, 2010
ABSL Space Products (ABSL) today celebrates the successful launch of the NASA Kepler spacecraft on a Delta II rocket. The spacecraft, which will hunt for planets the size of our own Earth in other solar systems, is powered by ABSL Lithium-ion batteries. To date, planets more typical of our gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn have been observed. Kepler will open the door to finding new worlds that are much more likely to potentially harbor life.
ABSL builds space batteries in Longmont and is the world leader in Lithium-ion spacecraft and launch vehicle batteries with more than fifty launches and contracts from customers on five continents. The Kepler spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace and Space Technologies (BATC) of Boulder. The Colorado space economy is the second largest in the USA with Boulder County contributing a major portion of this business. “Today is another milestone for our Lithium-ion battery product line and we are proud of the technical achievements of the people of Boulder County, said Chris Pearson, ABSL Vice President. “ABSL worked closely with Ball Aerospace to successfully integrate Kepler’s spacecraft batteries through handling, integration, test, and shipment, and was acknowledged by the customer for its performance.”
ABSL is looking forward to the launches of the next NASA spacecraft to be powered by their batteries. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellites (LCROSS) will be launched this Summer from Florida on an Atlas V vehicle produced in Littleton. LRO and LCROSS will be NASA’s first mission to the moon in over a decade. Currently being built in the ABSL Longmont facility are batteries to power astronaut spacesuits during spacewalks as well a number of spacecraft and launch vehicle batteries.
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Notes To Editors:
ABSL Space Products (formerly AEA Technology Space)
ABSL Space Products is the world leader in the supply of Lithium-ion batteries for space applications with contracts for more than one hundred spacecraft and launch vehicles. ABSL supplied the first rechargeable Lithium-ion battery flown in space, and now over fifty spacecraft are flying powered by ABSL Lithium-ion battery technology.
ABSL has built up a global customer base, winning major contracts from NASA, ESA, and major prime manufacturers in North America, Europe and the rest of the world. ABSL has highly varied space energy storage capability having delivered primary, secondary, high power, high energy and high voltage solutions to the space industry.
ABSL has demonstrated in orbit the most reliable Lithium-ion products currently available for the space market by accumulating over 15,000 cell years of space operation without failure.
ABSL has been active in the space industry since the 1960s during the early days of ion-thruster development. During the 1980s, ABSL was the largest non-US subcontractor to the United States Strategic Development Initiative (SDI). More recently, effort has been focused on its power and optical products, such as LIDAR and infrared calibration systems.