Boulder, Colorado. October 6, 2014 – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Program Manager Allison Barto will receive the Women in Aerospace (WIA) Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions as Ball’s program manager for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program. Barto will be honored at the annual Women in Aerospace Awards ceremony on Wednesday, October 29.
The WIA award is given annually for noteworthy achievement or contributions to a single aerospace project or program that represents a breakthrough or milestone in the aerospace field.
“I am extremely honored that WIA has included me among such an outstanding group of women recognized for their professional contributions,” said Barto. “The James Webb Space Telescope program has allowed me to combine my passion for solving hard problems and my background in astrophysics to a program that is going to expand our knowledge of the universe in ways we can’t predict today.”
Barto joined Ball Aerospace in 1998 as a systems engineer. As Ball’s program manager for Webb, she leads the team delivering the telescope’s optical assemblies to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
In addition to 20 optical assemblies, Ball is developing the cryogenic electronics used to align and phase the optics in flight; cryogenic radiator assemblies; wavefront sensing & control software to determine the motions necessary to phase the telescope in flight; and optical system engineering support. Ball’s work on JWST extends through the optical commissioning of the observatory following launch scheduled for October 2018.
Barto is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California. She is one of six honorees to be recognized at the 29th annual WIA awards banquet on October 29.
Once on orbit, 18 hexagonal mirror segments designed by Ball Aerospace will work together as one 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror, the largest mirror ever flown in space and the first to deploy in space. The Webb telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built, able to detect the light from the first galaxies ever formed and explore planets around distant stars.
The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in 2018.