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Austin, TX (September 20, 2011) - 

Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC), a leading provider of commercial aerospace services, today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2011.


“Fiscal year 2011 has been a difficult year for Astrotech as we have endured a slower launch schedule than in recent years,” said Thomas B. Pickens III, Chairman and CEO of Astrotech. “We continue to identify ways to control costs and I am pleased that we were able to reduce SG&A by $3.8 million for fiscal year 2011. While we experience business cyclicality, Astrotech is committed to finding additional sources of revenue, such as the recent contract for ground support equipment. In regards to fiscal year 2012, we anticipate an increase in revenue versus fiscal year 2011, but gross margin will be squeezed by a mix shift from the payload processing business to the design and fabrication of the ground support equipment.”


Fourth Quarter Results

The Company posted a fourth quarter fiscal year 2011 net loss of $1.8 million, or $(0.10) per diluted share on revenue of $4.5 million compared with a fourth quarter fiscal year 2010 net loss of $1.6 million, or $(0.10) per diluted share on revenue of $5.5 million.


Fiscal Year Results

Astrotech’s net loss for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011 was $5.0 million, or $(0.28) per diluted share on revenue of $20.1 million compared to net income of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share on revenue of $28.0 million for the prior fiscal year.


Update of Ongoing Operations

During the fourth quarter ASO provided support for several missions in process at our facilities in Florida and California. Additionally, ASO was awarded a $16.2 million contract to fabricate, install, and test Ground Support Equipment (GSE) for the U.S. government. Under a firm fixed-price contract, fabrication began in the fourth quarter with delivery targeted for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. This contract highlights ASO’s extensive experience in designing, building, and operating spacecraft processing equipment and facilities.


The Company continues the advancement of 1st Detect’s Miniature Chemical Detector product development; a product that we expect to revolutionize the chemical detection market by delivering lab performance mass spectrometry in a small, easily portable package. During the fourth quarter, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a key patent to 1st Detect for the company’s unique method to drive a mass spectrometer ion trap used for chemical detection and identification.


Astrogenetix continued maximizing flight opportunities in fiscal year 2011 in the process of developing products from microgravity discoveries with a focus on vaccines for Salmonella and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Astrogenetix completed its twelfth microgravity research mission on NASA’s STS-134 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The mission was Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final mission.


The Company’s 18-month rolling backlog, which includes contractual backlog and scheduled but uncommitted missions, was $35.2 million at June 30, 2011. The majority of the backlog is for ASO pre-launch satellite processing services, which include hardware launch preparation; advanced planning; use of unique satellite preparation facilities; and spacecraft checkout, encapsulation, fueling, transport, and command and control through launch.


Financial Position and Liquidity

Working capital was $5.0 million as of June 30, 2011, which included $15.0 million in cash and $2.4 million of accounts receivable.


Financial Tables for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2011 [PDF 244KB]


About Astrotech Corporation


Astrotech is one of the first space commerce companies and remains a strong entrepreneurial force in the aerospace industry. We are leaders in identifying, developing and marketing space technology for commercial use. Our Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) business unit serves our government and commercial satellite and spacecraft customers with pre-launch services on the eastern and western range. 1st Detect Corporation is developing what we believe is a breakthrough miniature chemical detector, while Astrogenetix, Inc. is a biotechnology company utilizing microgravity as a research platform for drug discovery and development.


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 & 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.

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