Shareholders in loss-making launch preparation services provider Astrotech have voted in favour of a $61 million deal announced on 29 May to sell essentially all of the company to Lockheed Martin.
Astrotech, which provides final testing, fuelling, encapsulation and day-of launch support from Cape Canaveral and Vandenburg AFB, describes its 18-month backlog as “relatively healthy”. However, in the nine months to end-March the company lost $4.8 million before taxes on revenue of $10.8 million.
In its full year to 30 June 2013, Astrotech lost $723,000 before taxes on revenue of $24 million.
In fiscal year 2013, all but $133,000 of Astrotech’s revenue came from the space operations business unit being acquired by Lockheed. The US giant is not buying the Astrogenetix biotechnology or 1st Detect miniature mass spectrometer units.
Until 2009 Astrotech was called Spacehab, and supplied pressurised, crew-capable laboratory modules to fly in the Space Shuttle’s cargo bay.
The company also built the ESP-2 external storage module fitted to the International Space Station following delivery by Shuttle mission STS-114 in 2005.
The name change to Astrotech was intended to “more accurately reflect the company’s current mission and vision for future growth”.