NASA’s recently landed Mars rover,
Spirit, is now returning color and three-dimensional images of the Red Planet
after a successful landing. Spirit traveled 302 million miles aboard NASA’s
Mars Odyssey orbiter, then detached from the spacecraft to journey to the
Martian surface. Spirit successfully sent a radio signal after the spacecraft
had bounced and rolled for several minutes following its initial impact at
11:35 p.m. EST on January 3. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder,
Colo., was part of the team that built the Spirit rover.

Ball Aerospace was responsible for the avionics that control the power
aboard Spirit for maneuvers like moving the rover’s wheels, and firing the
pyrotechnics required to launch the rover’s landing parachute and airbags.
During its entry and landing, approximately 100 steps had to be set into
motion within the power system, in exact order, for a successful landing.

“We’re thrilled with the way our equipment is performing, and our
congratulations go to NASA for undertaking such a challenging, and so-far,
successful, mission to Mars,” says Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
President and CEO David L. Taylor.

In addition to the power avionics, Ball Aerospace also built the high-gain
antenna system that relays many of the exciting images recently released to
the public at high data rates back to Earth. Images are returned to Earth
from the Red Planet in a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the
resolution of the image. Using the high-gain antenna allows Spirit to stay in
communication with the Earth for the entire Mars day, rather than relying on
relay orbiters that may only be able to send information for five minutes per
day. Ball Aerospace also provided the Panoramic-camera Mast Assembly that
helps to control the onboard camera and return images.

Ball Aerospace has been contributing to NASA’s exploration of Mars since
1976 with the Visual Imaging Subsystem for the Viking orbiters. Nearly twenty
years later, Ball Aerospace provided the highly successful primary
communication antenna for Mars Pathfinder. Currently, the company is working
on a high-resolution imaging camera that will fly on the 2005 Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter and is developing instruments for the 2009 Mars Science

Spirit’s twin, Opportunity, was launched July 7, 2003, and is on course
for a landing on the opposite side of Mars on Jan. 25. Opportunity will use
the same equipment built by Ball Aerospace. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or
JPL, is a division of the California Institute of Technology, and manages the
Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington.
Additional information about the project is available from JPL at: .

Ball Corporation is one of the world’s leading suppliers of
metal and plastic packaging to the beverage and food industries. The company
also owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. With the addition of Ball
Packaging Europe, acquired in December 2002, Ball expects to report 2003 sales
of approximately $4.9 billion, of which approximately $4.4 billion will come
from its two packaging segments and $500 million from its aerospace and
technologies segment.

Forward-Looking Statements

The information in this news release contains “forward-looking”
statements. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those
expressed or implied. As time passes, the relevance and accuracy of forward-
looking statements contained in this release may change. The company
currently does not intend to update any particular forward-looking statement
except as it deems necessary at quarterly or annual release of earnings.
Please refer to the Form 10-Q filed by Ball Corporation on November 10, 2003,
for a summary of key risk factors that could affect actual results or
outcomes. Factors that might affect the packaging segments of the company
are: fluctuation in consumer and customer demand; competitive packaging
material availability, pricing and substitution; the weather; fruit, vegetable
and fishing yields; company and industry productive capacity and competitive
activity; lack of productivity improvement or production cost reductions;
regulatory action or laws, including the German mandatory deposit or other
restrictive packaging laws and environmental and workplace safety regulations;
availability and cost of raw materials, energy and transportation; the ability
or inability to pass on to customers changes in these costs, particularly
resin, steel and aluminum; pricing and ability or inability to sell scrap;
international business risks (including foreign exchange rates and tax rates)
particularly in the United States, Europe and in developing countries such as
China and Brazil; and the effect of LIFO accounting on earnings. Factors that
may affect the aerospace segment are: funding, authorization and availability
of government contracts and the nature and continuation of those contracts;
and technical uncertainty associated with aerospace segment contracts.
Factors that could affect the company as a whole include those listed plus:
successful and unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures and
the integration activities associated therewith including the integration and
operation of the business of Schmalbach-Lubeca AG, now known as Ball Packaging
Europe; the inability to purchase the company’s common stock; insufficient or
reduced cash flow; regulatory action or laws including those related to
corporate governance and financial reporting, regulations and standards;
actual and estimated business consolidation and investment costs and the net
realizable value of assets associated with these activities; goodwill
impairment; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or their
interpretation; litigation; antitrust, intellectual property, consumer and
other issues; strikes; boycotts; increases in various employee benefits and
labor costs, specifically pension, medical and health care costs incurred in
the countries in which Ball has operations; rates of return projected and
earned on assets of the company’s defined benefit retirement plans; interest
rates and level of company debt, including floating rate debt; terrorist
activities, war or catastrophic events that disrupt or impact production,
supply or pricing of the company’s goods and services, including raw materials
and energy costs, or disrupt or impact the credit and financing of the
company’s businesses; and U.S. and foreign economic conditions.