Lockheed Martin agreed to buy Astrotech Corporation’s Astrotech Space Operations business, which performs satellite launch testing and fueling, as well as day-of-launch operations. The terms of the purchase have not been disclosed, though Lockheed indicated it would close the purchase during the third quarter of this year, pending satisfaction of standard closing conditions.
Astrotech Space Operations will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary, and managed by Lockheed’s Space Systems business. The Space Systems business had been one of the divisions Lockheed marked for downsizing last fall, in the face of federal spending cuts.
Based in Titusville, Fla., Astrotech Space Operations has operations at Cape Canaveral, Fla. and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
"Astrotech Space Operations' expertise in the final stages of launch preparation complements our existing capabilities in satellite design, production and integration," stated Lockheed chairman Marillyn Hewson. "This new capability expands our Space Systems services portfolio and enhances the value we offer to current and future Lockheed Martin and Astrotech customers."
Astrotech Space Operations has been handling satellite processing and launches since 1981, and has performed over 300 successful spacecraft missions to date. It provides all support necessary for spacecraft processing to prepare for launch on various U.S. and international launch vehicles.
It lists a range of government and commercial customers, including both U.S. and international agencies and firms.
"Joining Lockheed Martin will benefit our customers and our employees," according to Don White, senior vice president and general manager of Astrotech Space Operations. "As a wholly-owned subsidiary, we'll be able to deliver the same level of expert, affordable launch preparation services our customers have come to expect with the added strength and stability of a company that's been a leader in the space industry since day one."