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Austin, TX (May 14, 2015) - 

1st Detect Corporation, a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC), announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has allowed the issuance of a key patent for increasing the performance of the company’s unique ion trap mass spectrometer used for chemical analysis and detection.


“We are pleased that the USPTO has allowed this patent as it enables 1st Detect to significantly expand the number of applications and customers that we can address with our ion trap technology." said Bob C. Kibler, CEO of 1st Detect. “Applications for this patent will enable 1st Detect to target markets traditionally not addressable by miniature mass spectrometers including airports and the military, as well as pharmaceutical and beverage quality control.”


U.S. Patent No. 8,969,794, entitled, ‘Mass Dependent Automatic Gain Control for Mass Spectrometer' represents a key technological advantage for 1st Detect to miniaturize mass spectrometers yet retain the flexibility and ability to analyze a wide variety of compounds that traditionally require large complex laboratory instruments. “The technology protected by this patent demonstrates our ability to develop novel methods to respond to our customers’ requirements without adding complexity or cost.” added Dr. James Wylde, the inventor of the novel technology and VP of Business Development for 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. 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 Corporation is an Austin, TX based technology company that has evolved from over 30 years in the human spaceflight, Space Shuttle, and Department of Defense satellite programs. The company has become a leader in the commercialization of government sponsored advanced space technologies. In 2014, the company completed the sale of one of its businesses, Astrotech Space Operations, to Lockheed Martin for $61 million.


1st Detect Corporation was created to develop a mass spectrometer that was designed for use on the International Space Station. 1st Detect is a game-changing technology in the chemical detection and analysis market because it delivers laboratory performance of traditional mass spectrometry, but in a small, affordable and portable package. 1st Detect's technology is useful in the semiconductor, food and beverage processing, petrochemical, laboratory, process control, explosive detection, and chemical warfare markets.


Astrogenetix Corporation was formed as a result of over $4 billion spent by NASA over a 25 year period on experiments conducted in sustained microgravity, where results were only achieved while orbiting in space. Astrotech designed and flew 1,113 of these experiments in its Spacehab modules, and after an extensive review, discovered that microgravity greatly enhanced the discovery of valuable vaccines and therapeutics. The company has completed 12 successful biomarker discovery missions to the International Space Station and has identified a salmonella vaccine candidate, while ten additional discoveries are in the pipeline. NASA has awarded Astrogenetix 26 free flights to the $130 billion ISS National Laboratory, along with full crew support.


Astral Images, Inc. was launched to commercialize identified government funded satellite image correction technologies. Along with the acquisition of certain established defect correction technologies, first funded by IBM and Kodak, Astral is positioned to be the world leader in the technology required to convert and repair feature films and film based television series to the new digital Ultra-High Definition 4K standards.


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, our ability to successfully develop our remaining Spacetech business unit, our ability to develop and integrate our miniaturized mass spectrometer, the MMS-1000™, product performance, market acceptance of products and services, and our ability to identify, execute and integrate potential acquisitions, as well as other risk factors and business considerations. Any forward-looking statements in this document should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors. Astrotech assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.



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

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