1st Detect Awarded U.S. Patent for Novel Mass Spectrometer Design

1st Detect Awarded U.S. Patent for Novel Mass Spectrometer Design

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 1^st Detect Corporation, a
subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC), announced today that the
United States Patent Office ("USPTO") has allowed the issuance of a key patent
for the company's unique ion trap used for chemical analysis and detection.
"We are extremely pleased that the USPTO has allowed this patent. This patent
is an important component of our intellectual property portfolio as it allows
1^st Detect to enhance the performance of miniaturized mass spectrometers
without an increase in size or cost," said Thomas B Pickens III, Chairman and
CEO of 1^st Detect. "The patent clearly validates our technology, while both
demonstrating and protecting the progress we have made in the development of
the 1^st Detect mass spectrometer."

The patent, entitled "A Mass Spectrometer Ion Trap Having Asymmetric End Cap
Apertures", published as USPTO No. 8,610,055, represents a key technological
advantage for 1^st Detect to improve the sensitivity and resolution of small
mass spectrometers without increasing the complexity or cost of the

"The technology protected by this patent supports our objective to offer the
most affordable, high performance small mass spectrometer for both laboratory
and field applications," added David Rafferty, the inventor of the novel
technology and President and CTO of 1^st Detect.

1^st Detect Corporation has developed an instrument that revolutionizes the
chemical detection and analysis market by delivering lab performance mass
spectrometry in a small, affordable and easily portable package. The 1^st
Detect 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 pollution

About 1^st Detect Corporation

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

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 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.


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

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