SPACEHAB Announces Successful ARCTUS Mid-Air Recovery Test
Capture Demonstrates Feasibility of Low Impact Retrieval Technique
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SPACEHAB, Incorporated (NASDAQ:SPABD), a leading provider of commercial space services, today announced the success of a mid air retrieval demonstration test performed with applications to its Advanced Research and Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS) Program. The Company is releasing video of the successful test on SPACEHAB’s ARCTUS Program website.
“We are very pleased with our working relationship with ULA and look forward to achieving many successful milestones together to reach the ultimate goal of flying ARCTUS to low Earth orbit in 2010. This is a very exciting time for the space industry”
The test, performed by Vertigo Incorporated and United Launch Alliance (ULA), was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of mid-air capture for a variety of applications. The mass simulator was carried by helicopter to an altitude of 5,000 feet and then released under a parafoil. The helicopter was then able to capture a drag line being trailed behind the chute, lift the combined mass, collapse the parafoil, and gently place the simulated spacecraft on the ground. By contrast, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft makes a relatively hard landing on solid ground.
The ARCTUS Program will support NASA’s requirement to fill the International Space Station (ISS) cargo supply gap between the space shuttle’s planned retirement in 2010 and the replacement Orion program scheduled to be operational in 2015. ARCTUS will also provide SPACEHAB with an additional means of space access in support of the Company’s previously announced SPACEHAB Microgravity Sciences initiatives which include returning to Earth valuable and often fragile biotech products that require the soft landing afforded by the mid air capture retrieval technique.
“All of the pieces are coming together very nicely in our pursuit of providing the ideal environment to process biotech products in microgravity,” said SPACEHAB, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Thomas B. Pickens, III. “The mid air capture will ensure that all of the cost and care invested to send valuable samples to space will result in the maximum yield when safely returned to Earth,” he said. “We are very pleased with our working relationship with ULA and look forward to achieving many successful milestones together to reach the ultimate goal of flying ARCTUS to low Earth orbit in 2010. This is a very exciting time for the space industry,” he concluded.
Video from the mid air retrieval can be accessed at the official ARCTUS program website, www.arctus-spacecraft.com.
About SPACEHAB, Incorporated
SPACEHAB is a commercial leader and entrepreneurial force in the space industry providing a full spectrum of products and services to both the government and private sectors. The Company offers space access and payload integration services, production of valuable commercial products in space, spacecraft pre-launch processing facilities and services, development and extension of space-based products to the consumer market, and program and engineering support ranging from development and manufacturing of flight hardware to large scale government project management.
The statements in this document may contain 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.