NASA Awards Astrotech Contract for DSCOVR Satellite Processing

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AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ASTROTECH CORPORATION (Nasdaq:ASTC) and its Astrotech Space Operations subsidiary, leading providers of commercial space services, today announced that NASA has awarded Astrotech a contract to provide facilities and pre-launch processing services for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission to launch in late 2014.

DSCOVR is the second mission awarded under the previously announced $9.1 million NASA Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract with Astrotech Space Operations-Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force also are partners on this mission scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Orbiting one million miles from Earth, DSCOVR will provide advance warning for severe solar storms that may adversely affect power grids, communications, aircraft and GPS navigation on Earth as well as spacecraft operations.

"Just as current NOAA satellites monitor changing atmospheric conditions on Earth, DSCOVR will monitor and warn us about harmful solar storms approaching our planet," stated Astrotech Corporation CEO Thomas B. Pickens III. "We are proud to be part of this important mission, which is also the first time Astrotech will process a satellite for launch on a SpaceX rocket."

ASO Florida has provided payload processing for NASA satellites such as RBSP, Juno, SDO, LRO/LCROSS, GRAIL and TDRS-K. TDRS-L will arrive for processing later this year. Another space weather mission, MMS, is slated for mid-2014 launch.

From Titusville, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Astrotech Space Operations provides all support necessary for government and commercial customers to successfully process their satellite hardware for launch, including advanced planning; use of unique facilities; and spacecraft checkout, encapsulation, fueling and transport. In its 31-year history, Astrotech has supported the processing of more than 300 spacecraft without impacting a customer's launch schedule.

About Astrotech Corporation and Astrotech Space Operations (ASO)

Astrotech is one of the first space commerce companies and remains a strong entrepreneurial force in the aerospace industry. We are leaders in identifying, developing and marketing space technology for commercial use. Our Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) has been a global satellite processing leader since 1981. With more than 300 successful spacecraft missions to date, Astrotech continues to provide adaptable and flexible services for its government and commercial customers. Astrotech Space Operations provides all support necessary for successful spacecraft processing to prepare for launch on a variety of domestic and foreign launch vehicles. Spacecraft undergo pre-launch hardware integration and testing, satellite encapsulation, and fueling before transport to the pad. Astrotech Space Operations business unit serves our satellite and spacecraft customers with pre-launch services on the Eastern (Kennedy Space Center) and Western (Vandenberg Air Force Base) Ranges.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from the forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, continued government support and funding for key space programs, product performance and market acceptance of products and services, as well as other risk factors and business considerations described in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings including the annual report on Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statements in this document should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: FOR MORE INFORMATION: Astrotech Corporation 512.485.9530

Source:Astrotech Corporation