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Brush Wellman Delivers Space Telescope Mirror Blanks Ahead of Schedule


ELMORE, Ohio - August 22, 2005 - Brush Wellman's Beryllium Products business unit has completed, ahead of schedule, a critical step in the development of the NASA orbital telescope that could reveal secrets of the origin of the universe billions of years ago.

The delivery of the final four beryllium mirror blanks by Brush Wellman marks an important milestone in the construction of the 18-segment primary mirror for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), one of the most exciting and demanding scientific projects of the new millennium.

The mirror blanks, the largest ever produced in beryllium, have been shipped to Axsys Technologies, Inc. in Alabama for machining. Later, SSG Tinsley in California will polish and test the mirrors. Brush Wellman, Axsys and Tinsley are project partners under the lead optical contractor, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Northrop Grumman Space Technology, the prime contractor to NASA, will assemble and test the telescope.

Brush produced the primary mirror blanks, as well as two smaller beryllium mirrors and structural parts integral to the telescope, under a material supply contract with Ball Aerospace & Technologies valued at more than $18 million.

"This is a hallmark accomplishment for the Brush team," said Gordon D. Harnett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brush Engineered Materials Inc., the parent company of Brush Wellman Inc. "We're proud to serve such an important role in this extraordinary peacetime application of beryllium."

Each of the 18 hexagonal beryllium mirror blanks measures 1.5 meters point to point but the finished primary mirror segment will weigh less than 46 pounds. Beryllium was selected for the mirror project over high performance glass because of its superior properties including a low coefficient of thermal expansion, and its strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios. These properties will enable the telescope to function in the frigid environment of deep space, where temperatures are no warmer than minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

The JWST project represents the largest quantity of Brush Wellman's 0-30 optical grade material processed for a single order. Work on the project began at the Company's Elmore, Ohio manufacturing facility in September 2003. During peak production over 80 people were working on the primary mirror segment project.

"We knew from the beginning of the selection process that beryllium was the perfect material for this project," Harnett said. "We were also confident that Brush had the talent and expertise to execute the demanding technical processes that were required. The completion of our portion of the Webb Telescope ahead of schedule allows the project to transition seamlessly to the next partner."

Utilizing infrared light technology, the JWST represents the next generation of space telescopes. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, employs visible light technology. The new telescope's huge optical mirror, large enough to fit seven Hubble Space Telescope mirrors within its surface area, will give it the light-collecting sensitivity to see faint and previously hidden objects 10 billion to 11 billion light years into the universe, perhaps revealing the formation of the first stars and galaxies. In addition to seeing objects 400 times fainter than those currently observed by ground- and space-based telescopes, the powerful JWST observatory will, in a few hours, observe objects that the Hubble requires a week or more to record.

Michael D. Anderson, President of the Beryllium Products unit, commented, "The JWST project further validates beryllium as the material of choice for precise optical applications, especially those in extremely cold conditions. While the standards were exacting and the timeline challenging, the Brush team proved it was up to the task."

The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch by NASA early in the next decade. The Webb telescope is an integral part of the NASA Origins program, a series of scientific missions designed to uncover the mysteries of the universe by studying the birth of stars, planets, moons, comets and asteroids. Brush also supplied beryllium mirrors and critical structures for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, since renamed the Spitzer Space Telescope. The August 2003 launch of the Spitzer Telescope marked the first mission of the Origins program.

Beryllium and beryllium-containing materials from Brush Wellman are widely used in mission-critical commercial, aerospace, engineering and research applications that demand superior levels of product strength, reliability, miniaturization, reflectivity and weight savings.

Brush Wellman is the world's only fully integrated producer of beryllium, beryllium alloys and beryllia ceramic. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brush Engineered Materials Inc. (NYSE: BW). Through its subsidiaries, Brush Engineered Materials supplies worldwide markets with beryllium, alloy, electronic and precious metal products, and engineered material systems. The Company's engineered materials are found in technically demanding end-use products in the telecommunications and computer, automotive electronics, industrial components, optical media, aerospace and defense and appliance markets.


Michael C. Hasychak

Patrick S. Carpenter

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