Payload Processing Contracts in Place to Support Future EELV Missions

subsidiary Astrotech Space Operations Inc. (Astrotech) celebrates the
beginning of a new era in space development marked by the successful debut
launch of the new Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) on August
21. Astrotech supported this first Atlas V mission by providing payload
processing services at its new $30 million Spacecraft Processing Facility
(SPF) in Titusville, Florida.

The payload for this first Atlas V mission was Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD(TM) 6
communications satellite. HOT BIRD 6 was delivered to the Astrotech SPF on
June 13, 2002. Spacecraft processing activities conducted at the Astrotech
facility included post-shipment inspections and functional testing, assisting
with loading and pressurization of the propulsion system, completion of launch
closeouts, and encapsulation of the spacecraft in the Atlas V payload fairing.

Astrotech’s new SPF was designed and built specifically to accommodate
EELV payloads — both 4-meter- and 5-meter-class satellites with weights in
excess of 25,000 pounds and payload fairings up to 75 feet long. The SPF is
the only satellite processing facility at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center/Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station launch complex with the capability to accommodate
satellites and payload fairings for Atlas V and Delta IV EELV missions. The
SPF was featured on the cover of the August 12 issue of Aviation Week & Space
Technology ( ).

Astrotech’s Florida payload processing facility, of which the SPF is a
part, is located on a 62-acre tract approximately three miles west of Kennedy
Space Center in Titusville. Astrotech has supported the processing of over
150 major payloads to date.

Astrotech has a long-term contract with Lockheed Martin to provide payload
processing for Atlas V payloads through 2006, with contract options through
2010. Astrotech will also provide payload processing for the first Delta IV
EELV mission, scheduled for early October, under a long-term contract with

With more than $100 million in annual revenue, SPACEHAB Inc. is a leading
provider of commercial space services. The company develops, owns, and
operates habitat and laboratory modules and cargo carriers aboard NASA’s Space
Shuttles. Its Johnson Engineering subsidiary provides orbiter crew
compartment integration and space station stowage and configuration
management, supports astronaut training, and builds space-flight mockup
trainers at the NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. SPACEHAB’s Astrotech
subsidiary provides commercial satellite processing services at facilities in
Florida and California. Additionally, through The Space Store, Space Media
provides space merchandise to the public and space enthusiasts worldwide
( ).

  • For more information, contact:
  • Linda Billings
  • Director of Communications
  • SPACEHAB, Inc. – Washington Office
  • Phone 202/488-3500 x. 201
  • Fax 202/488-8251