1st Detect Delivers Miniature Mass Spectrometer to NASA/Johnson Space Center

1st Detect Delivers Miniature Mass Spectrometer to NASA/Johnson Space Center

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 1^st Detect Corporation, a
subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC), announced today that it has
completed the delivery and installation of a miniature mass spectrometer
(MMS-1000™) to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

"Delivery of the MMS-1000™ unit to NASA represents a significant milestone for
1^st Detect. The Company was formed many years ago to meet the challenging
requirements of a Space Act Agreement that was signed with NASA in 2006, to
develop a mass spectrometer for manned spaceflight. Due to stringent
guidelines, David Rafferty, our President and CTO, and the development team
were faced with the unique challenge to build an innovative mini mass
spectrometer with low power requirements and a small footprint, but still
provided laboratory mass spectrometer performance. We at 1^st Detect are very
proud to have exceeded our original goal and have now delivered the MMS-1000™
to NASA for ground evaluation. I feel honored to be working with this very
talented and motivated team of innovative professionals that have accomplished
this technological breakthrough, which has proven to have many valuable
industrial and security applications beyond the space program." said Thomas B
Pickens III, Chairman and CEO of 1^st Detect.

The instrument, the MMS-1000™ Miniature Mass Spectrometer, is a breakthrough
in ion trap technology that brings laboratory quality analysis to remote and
harsh locations.

"From inception, the technology developed by the team at 1^st Detect was
designed to meet the demands of harsh environments." added David Rafferty, the
President and CTO of the Company. "In addition, these stringent requirements
enable a variety of applications outside of the laboratory in environments
where traditional mass spectrometers are unable to operate."

1^st Detect Corporation has developed an instrument that revolutionizes the
chemical detection and analysis market by delivering lab performance mass
spectrometry in a highly accurate, rapid, lightweight, and cost-effective
instrument. The 1^st Detect mini mass spectrometer's broad capabilities make
it an ideal tool for a variety of applications in the research, security,
industrial, process flow and healthcare markets; and 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

About 1^st Detect Corp.

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

The 1st Detect Corporation logo is available at

About Astrotech Corp.

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 business unit serves our government and commercial
satellite and spacecraft customers with pre-launch services on the eastern and
western range. 1^st Detect Corporation has developed a breakthrough miniature
mass spectrometer, while Astrogenetix, Inc. is a biotechnology company
utilizing microgravity as a research platform for drug discovery and

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.

CONTACT: James Wylde
         Vice President, Business Development
         1st Detect Corporation

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