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Astrotech Corp. Message Board

  • marsavian marsavian Sep 1, 2007 8:53 AM Flag

    New Business Initiatives

    New Business Initiatives

    Many of our identified new business initiatives are focused on space-based life sciences and end-to-end space mission assurance services, which are natural extensions of our 23 years of space industry experience and our core capabilities in these fields. These new business initiatives will require large investments of capital and technical expertise.

    Microgravity. In the early days of the space program, it was determined that the effects of microgravity provide a unique environment that could potentially benefit humans. Since the inception of the space shuttle program and extending through the International Space Station Program, NASA has spent billions of dollars on microgravity infrastructure and research. We have been logistically responsible for several hundred of these experiments on the space shuttle, the Russian Progress vehicle and the International Space Station.

    Previous spaceflight research suggests that growing protein crystals in the microgravity environment of space offers the possibility of significantly increasing the x-ray diffraction quality of protein crystals. We believe that because of the high quality of these protein crystal structures, they may be used to better define the protein structures of diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer�s, Parkinson�s disease, Lou Gehrig�s disease and certain forms of cancer, which in turn may lead to the development of drugs capable of combating these diseases. If we are successful in developing protein crystals in microgravity, we expect to pre-sell these crystals to pharmaceutical companies.

    On August 14, 2007, NASA announced that it was seeking private industry proposals for research and manufacturing concepts and opportunities onboard the International Space Station. This announcement indicates NASA�s desire to open the International Space Station to commercial projects. Because of our experience with microgravity, we believe that we are well positioned to transition protein crystal growth, and other identified candidates, from a space research project to a fully commercialized microgravity processing operation.

    Advanced Research and Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS). We are assembling a team of industry partners with a common goal of developing a commercial transportation system providing lower cost, lower risk space transportation services than conventional, government-developed transportation systems. ARCTUS is designed to provide cargo transportation services to the International Space Station under the unfunded Space Act Agreement signed with NASA in June 2007.

    End-to-End Space Mission Assurance. We believe that Astrotech is a recognized leader in providing commercial spacecraft processing services. Astrotech intends to expand its market by offering end-to-end assurance services to both commercial and government customers. These new end-to-end space mission assurance services would extend Astrotech�s current relationships with customers� spacecraft from a condensed few weeks of ground processing at an Astrotech facility to multiple years of space mission assurance services throughout the satellite�s lifecycle.


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    • It is not a matter of speculation. Lockheed will do whatever their customer - NASA - wants.
      NASA/LM will either fund the keep alive or not. 2008 Fiscal year is about to begin. We should see something soon. If no keep-alive money, then declare the module program dead. But, don't let that scare you. It has been near death for some time now. "New SPAB" is moving on to other opportunities. That is where the future value of this equity lies.

    • CMC (Lockheed) isn't going to fund to maintain readiness. That is a spab risk to take. It doesn't buy Lockheed anything, they give paid no matter what the cargo flies on

    • I think that a good indicator of whether or not the SPACEHAB modules may be used again is whether the Cargo Mission Contract will fund SPAB to maintain the modules in a flight ready status. Right now they are sitting in the SPPF. It will cost SPAB a pretty penny to maintain that facility and the staff to keep the modules "ready". I doubt they would spend the money without a reimbursement from CMC.

      But, I think you all are missing the point. SPAB is moving forward with other initiatives. Some of it they are keeping "close to the vest", but I have to think they would not have been able to pull off this debt restructuring without a credible business plan.

      As to why Kearney... I mean Bluetruth... couln't get that deal done, I think old management had lost credibility and had no fresh ideas. New management, whatever you may think of them personally, is out there quietly doing tangible things to re-build credibility and forge meaningful partnerships.

    • Ok Jim seems I got my wires crossed, it's only one MPLM that is actively 'powered' rather than only one that is pressurised. They can also be indirectly accessed by the crew via the ISS as opposed to the Spacehab module which can be accessed directly via a tunnel from the Shuttle cabin.

      Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules

      On the face of it this would make the module's future use unlikely even with a Shuttle extension and would make it depend on the size of any external cargo that went up with it to make it be used in preference to a MPLM. Don't know how the AMS and Triana shape up in that regard as they would be the most likely candidates for any future cargo loads. Of course if the ICC went up again a Spacehab Module would be used again over a MPLM even if Astrium got the ICC contract.

      I just don't believe that the external tank can't be restarted at any time as a variant of it is going to be used on the Ares V in ten years time ! Just scaremongering by Griffin as usual to get his way. The new administrator will be here in 16 months, let's review this then as Atlantis has already been extended to 2010 even with the current lot in charge even though they previously said they needed it for spares ! ;-) I don't believe half of what Griffin says and I know neither do you ;-).

    • Keep grasping at those straws.

      The MPLM wouldn't be attached until the last mission. And again, they are all pressurized (the P in MPLM).

      spab is no longera viable option. The remaining flights are going maximized the logistics to orbit and the MPLM is the more efficent way.

    • All the MPLM's are pressurized and EVA is not needed with them

      The supply chains are gone and not reversable. People and companies are gone. The last ET is in construction.
      Also the CAIB recert will be required.

      It is cut and dry. It will be too far gone in two years to reverse

    • Wrong on all clearly you have not read all my posts...also why did I not respond to you?...because you only had one post, (and now a second to try and bait me) and no you would not sue me for saying things on a board (btw you are using a posting name as well so dont think that is a legit issue) due to a variety a leittle legal research and find out why....all the best

    • It's also not just the manned spaceflight gap it's the total reliance on Russia for 5 years to get men and cargo to the ISS that has not gone down well with influential Democrats like Senator Nelson. Griffin and Horowowitz have been so blase about the ISS with their CLV and COTS choices and I am pretty sure the Democrats will be more ISS orientated than Lunar orientated in their decision making.

    • Forgot to add the significance of there being only one pressurised MPLM, moves and plans are afoot to attach this one to the ISS. If that's done Spacehab module then becomes the only pressurised container. It's not over until it's over ;-).

    • You don't need an EVA to access a Spacehab module plus only one MPLM is pressurised, it's not as cut and dried as you claim. Same with supply chains, 2 years is long enough lead time to change matters if there is the political will and I strongly suspect there will be when Bush and Griffin are gone and a 5-year manned spaceflight gap looms which are the natural consequences of Griffin's and Horowitz's decisions.

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