Austin company grabs NASA space mission contract

Oct 24, 2013
Austin Business Journal

A unit of Astrotech Corp. (Nasdaq: ASTC) will provide pre-launch services and facilites for NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory mission scheduled for lift-off in late 2014


The contract to Astrotech's Florida unit, Astrotech Space Operations, is the second mission awarded under a previously announced $9.1 million NASA indefinite delivery deal with the company, Astrotech said in a statement


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Air Force also are partners on the mission scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The climate observatory will provide advance warning for severe solar storms that might affect power grids, communications, aircraft and GPS navigation, as well as operations aboard orbiting spacecraft


Astrotech recently saw its shares spike after releasing positive financial news. On Oct. 17, the stock jumped 30 percent to close at $1.26 a day after the company reported fourth quarter net income of $2.2 million compared to a loss of $1.3 million a year earlier. Since that date, the company's shares have steadily gained value, closing Tuesday at $1.63


Astrotech, which was founded in 1984 as Spacehab, employs about 66 workers


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