NASA selected Ball Aerospace to build the spacecraft for the Spectro Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), a medium-class Explorer mission. Ball is also responsible for the system integration and test, support for integration of the spacecraft onto a launch vehicle and commissioning of the spacecraft after launch.
The SPHEREx mission aims to study the nature of physics that drove cosmic inflation in the early universe; determine the properties of interstellar ices, a key reservoir for water and biogenic material in the early phases of star and planet formation; and probe the cosmic history of galaxy formation. James Bock of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) is the principal investigator for SPHEREx, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the managing center. The SPHEREx bus will be based on the Ball Aerospace line of Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) spacecraft.
“Ball Aerospace is committed to supporting the goals of NASA and the science community to explore and understand our universe,” said Ball Aerospace President and General Manager of Civil Space Makenzie Lystrup. “Our extensive heritage across a wide breadth of NASA science and exploration mission classes informs our development of technology that will enable the science of tomorrow — providing science at any scale.”