Lockheed Completes Acquisition of Astrotech

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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin Space Systems completed its acquisition of Astrotech Corp.’s Space Operations payload processing business, the Denver-based company said in an Aug. 22 press release.

Lockheed Martin did not disclose the terms of the acquisition when it announced the deal in May, but Astrotech said the price was $61 million.

Astrotech of Titusville, Florida, was founded in 1981. The company provides prelaunch services including satellite fueling, testing, encapsulation and day-of-launch services at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Lockheed announced its acquisition of Astrotech about a month after the U.S. Air Force delivered a report to Congress notifying lawmakers that the service planned to shut down its internal payload processing operations at Vandenberg and the Cape by 2016.

“Detailed analysis suggests that payload processing is a service inherently suited for execution by industry,” the Air Force said in the report, “Satellite Payload Processing Plan.”

Lockheed also is redoubling its effort to win commercial satellite business given the downturn in U.S. defense spending.