Houston, TX - SPACEHAB, Incorporated, a leading provider of commercial space services, recently announced that its Astrotech Space Operations subsidiary has been awarded several satellite processing contracts, in both the commercial and government sectors, for a value of $4.7M.
Follows is a summary of the missions Astrotech is supporting – through the provision of such products and services as state of the art facilities, spacecraft fueling operations, and flight hardware transportation – under the formal agreements:
Planned for a July 7 launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 2 rocket, the NASA Dawn spacecraft arrived at Astrotech's Titusville, Florida facilities on April 10 where it continues to undergo final processing and launch preparations. In addition to Astrotech's standard payload processing services, Astrotech will be performing the spacecraft propellant loading operation.
The mission NASA has tagged ‘A Journey to the Beginning of the Solar System,' Dawn was developed to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating two of the largest asteroids remaining intact since their formation, Ceres and Vesta. The two celestial bodies reside in the extensive zone between Mars and Jupiter, along with many other smaller bodies, called the asteroid belt. The eight-year, 3.2-billion mile journey is hoped to unlock some of the mysteries of planetary formation.
Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO) SkyMed 1 & 2
Astrotech's support of the COSMO SkyMed program is contracted through ULA for the joint Italian Space Agency (ASI) and Italian Ministry of Defense program. The COSMO SkyMed program is made up of four satellites, the first two of which have been contracted through Astrotech for $2.6M, and were designed for both civilian and military applications. As an Earth observation constellation, COSMO is equipped with an intensely high image resolution capacity which will be applied to defense and security assurance in Italy and other countries, seismic hazard analysis, environmental disaster monitoring, and agricultural mapping.
Astrotech completed processing requirements for COSMO SkyMed 1 from its Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) facilities at the Western Range in California. The spacecraft is scheduled for liftoff tonight atop a ULA Delta 2 rocket. An exact launch date has not been determined for SkyMed 2 but is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2008.
Also under contract with ULA, Astrotech's support of the NASA Phoenix Upper Stage is underway at its Titusville location. Facility and processing services provided under the contract are valued at $325,000.
Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST)
A $1.4m processing effort for the Astrotech team, NASA's GLAST spacecraft will arrive at the Titusville facilities in October 2007 in preparation for its liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, currently scheduled for December 2007.
GLAST will address major questions in astronomy, cosmology, and physics, such as the early history of star formation, the origin of black hole particle jets, the nature of dark matter, and the source of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions and form of light in the universe. More specifically, gamma rays are millions to billions of times more energetic than visible light. It takes an event as powerful as a massive star explosion or the escapades of the most massive black holes to generate gamma rays.
Astrotech provides satellite processing facilities and services from its nine-building compound in Titusville, Florida as well as the VAFB location. The Company also provides facilities management and spacecraft processing services for the ocean-going Sea Launch program at the Home Port Facilities in Long Beach, California. The three sites combined have supported the processing of nearly 250 spacecraft.
About SPACEHAB, Incorporated
Incorporated in 1984, SPACEHAB is a leading provider of commercial space products and services to NASA, international space agencies, Department of Defense, and private customers worldwide. The Company offers end-to-end space access solutions, space systems development, mission integration and pre-launch processing facilities and services, and large-scale government program support services.
SOURCE: SPACEHAB, Incorporated