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Austin, TX (March 27, 2015) - 

1st Detect Corporation, a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC), announced today that the United States Patent Office (“USPTO”) has issued the company a key patent for improving the sensitivity and identification capability of the company’s unique ion trap, used for chemical analysis and detection.


“We are extremely pleased that the USPTO has allowed this patent. It further strengthens our intellectual property portfolio allowing us to detect and identify trace amounts of chemicals in harsh environments, while retaining the size and weight of a small, transportable instrument," said Bob Kibler, CEO of 1st Detect. “The patent clearly validates our ability to provide breakthrough technological solutions that help keep our soldiers safe from known and unknown chemical threats.”


U.S. Patent No. 8,784,737, entitled, ‘Introducing an Analyte into a Chemical Analyzer,' represents a key technological advantage for 1stDetect to improve the sensitivity for portable small mass spectrometers without increasing our 30 second analysis time; a key advantage over the competitor’s GC-MS solutions.


“The technology protected by this patent demonstrates our ability to offer small, affordable mass spectrometers that produce high quality, stable output while identifying a wider range of chemicals, including threats and toxic chemicals, more quickly and with better sensitivity than competing solutions,” added David Rafferty, the inventor of the novel technology and President and CTO of 1st Detect.


1st Detect Corporation has developed an instrument that revolutionizes the chemical detection and analysis market by delivering laboratory performance mass spectrometry in a small, affordable and portable package. This versatile product has the flexibility to be adapted to each environment, and factory models are designed to communicate with standard Factory Management Software for easy implementation. The 1st Detect mass spectrometer utilizes core technology that is fast, highly sensitive and accurate. The unit is capable of detecting a wide variety of chemicals including residues and vapors from explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic chemicals, food and beverage contaminants, and pollutants. These capabilities, combined in an economically priced solution, make it an ideal tool for a variety of applications in the research, security, industrial, process flow and healthcare markets.


About 1st Detect Corporation

1st Detect Corporation was formed by Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC) to develop and commercialize miniature mass spectrometry technology first developed under an agreement with NASA for use on the International Space Station. 1st Detect offers a breakthrough miniaturized mass spectrometer that fills an unmet need by being highly accurate, rapid, lightweight, and cost-effective. For more information on 1st Detect Corporation, please visit


About Astrotech Corporation

Astrotech is a leader in identifying and commercializing space technology for terrestrial use. 1st Detect Corporation is developing what we believe is a breakthrough miniaturized mass spectrometer, the MMS-1000™, while Astrogenetix, Inc. is a biotechnology company utilizing microgravity as a research platform for drug discovery and development. Astral Images provides an advanced film scanning and digital defect removal solution. All are wholly owned subsidiaries of the parent.


This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from the forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, continued government support and funding for key space programs, product performance and market acceptance of products and services, as well as other risk factors and business considerations described in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings including the annual report on Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statements in this document should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.



Joshua Elbaum
VP, Marketing
+1 (512) 485-9530

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