NASA Begins Launch Preparations for First Mission to the Trojan Asteroids

An artist’s concept of the Lucy Mission. (Credit: SwRI)

NASA’s first spacecraft to explore the Trojan asteroids arrived Friday, July 30, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It is now in a cleanroom at nearby Astrotech, ready to begin final preparations for its October launch.

The mission has a 23-day launch period beginning on October 16. Lucy will undergo final testing and fueling prior to being moved to its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.


NASA Launching Advanced Laser to Measure Earth’s Changing Ice

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) spacecraft arrives at the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California ahead of its scheduled launch on Sept. 15, 2018. (Credits: U.S. Air Force/Vanessa Valentine)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Next month, NASA will launch into space the most advanced laser instrument of its kind, beginning a mission to measure – in unprecedented detail – changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.


A Closer Look at Which Space Companies U.S. VC’s are Investing in

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s new publication, “Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit,” consists of a series of papers that examines a number of important policy questions that will be of rising importance as NASA transitions human spaceflight in LEO to the private sector.

One of the papers, “Venture Capital Activity in the Low-Earth Orbit Sector,”
has detailed information on what U.S. venture capitalists have invested in. Key excerpts from the paper follow.

Lockheed Martin Expands Space Operations in Titusville

lockheedmartinlogTITUSVILLE, Fla., July 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin PR) — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) plans to expand capabilities at its Astrotech Space Operations site in Titusville, Florida with the assistance of the North Brevard Economic Development Zone and the State of Florida. Future investments would help Lockheed Martin grow Astrotech Space Operations’ capabilities and could add as many as 300 jobs to the site over the next four years.

The company evaluated a number of locations across the country that could handle additional work and selected Brevard County because it offers the best blend of talent and business opportunity for this project. Astrotech Space Operations offers payload processing services—like encapsulating and fueling a satellite for launch—for a range of customers. Under the planned expansion, its scope of work could potentially include production of aerospace components and subsystems. Lockheed Martin is evaluating options that are contingent on the completion of additional business case analyses, which are slated to occur in 2016 and 2017.


Lockheed Martin Purchases Astrotech Space Operations

AUSTIN, Texas, May 29, 2014 (ASTC PR) — Astrotech Corporation (ASTC) today announced a major step in its strategic evolution with the signing of a definitive agreement to sell the assets constituting its Astrotech Space Operations business (ASO) to Lockheed Martin Corporation, including the assets of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astrotech Space Operations, for $61 million.


Discovery to Carry Vaccine Research Aloft



Along with supply and equipment cargo bound for the International Space Station, Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128 will carry an additional scientific payload being conducted by Austin-based Astrogenetix, the first commercial space company to use microgravity to discover the foundation of new medicines.

Specifically, research will be conducted on Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella microbes in search of a potential target for a therapeutic agent or vaccine candidate. These bacterial microbes are known to cause hundreds of thousands of medically diagnosed infections every year around the world.


Space Could Be Key to Vital Vaccines

Vaccines in Space: Taking Biotech to Microgravity Labs
Popular Mechanics

Last month the public watched as astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis conducted risky spacewalks to fix the Hubble Space Telescope. But there was another, quieter task that the astronauts pursued – a commercial drug experiment aimed at finding a vaccine against a deadly staph infection besetting hospitals.


Astrotech CFO Resigns


Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC – News) today announced that Brian K. Harrington has resigned as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary effective June 04, 2009.


Astrotech to Support Energia on MRM1 Station Launch


Astrotech Corporation, (NASDAQ: SPAB – News), a leading provider of commercial space services, released today that the RSC Energia agreement in principle with the Company’s SPACEHAB Orbital Transportation, Inc. subsidiary, which was announced late last year, has now been formalized into a $1.8 million contract.

Russia’s largest manufacturer of aerospace and space equipment will utilize Astrotech’s Cape Canaveral, Florida payload processing facilities and receive support services from Astrotech to prepare its Mini Research Module (MRM1) for flight aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle during the STS-132 mission.


Astrotech, Hughes Partner to Offer “End-to-End” Systems Support


Astrotech Corporation, a leading provider of commercial space services, today announced its Astrotech Space Operations subsidiary is partnering with Syncomm, a derivative of the esteemed Hughes Aircraft Company, to provide the commercial satellite customer with expertise in end-to-end aerospace systems.