KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (March 24, 2009) – Space Florida, the aerospace economic development entity for the State and Astrotech Corporation, a leading provider of commercial space services, announce a unique partnership today that will enhance the State’s efforts to bring commercial space business back to the U.S. and specifically, to Florida.

The partnership will focus on an end-to-end solution for potential commercial space customers, streamlining the process for these companies to get their important payloads into space.

As a team, Space Florida and Astrotech will have the ability to provide a series of innovative solutions to potential space launch customers, including:

– “End to End Mission Assurance Services” including mission planning, spacecraft design and development, ground and launch operations, mission operations, and end user enhancement

– Customer assistance with efficiently and cost-effectively navigating the U.S.A.F. Eastern Range

– Launch pad and ground operations facilities tailored to customer needs

– World-class life sciences research capabilities at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory, with a legacy of preparing science payloads for flight to the ISS

– Close proximity to sea, rail, air, and highway transportation

– Additionally, Space Florida is advocating for passage of new legislation to create a Commercial Launch Zone (CLZ) during the 2009 Florida Legislative Session. If enacted, the legislation is structured to provide relief to some of the costs of establishing new aerospace-related business in Florida, including Free Trade Zone-type benefits, which lower the tax burden for a defined period of time.

“This innovative approach to the commercial space business model will give Florida a much greater advantage domestically and internationally,” said Steve Kohler, Space Florida President. “With the growth of satellite-based services and interest from the scientific community in utilizing the benefits of microgravity and the ISS, we see continued opportunity for our state through the commercial sector for many years to come.”

“It’s a natural fit – we have been working with Space Florida for some time on a number of successful space endeavors,” added General (ret) Lance W. Lord, Astrotech Chief Executive Officer. “This partnership will provide an end-to-end solution for the next generation of commercial space business we hope to attract here in Florida. Additionally, we can leverage the relationships that both organizations have to lure the most promising launch candidates to the state.”