It’s official. A bit of Space Coast history has returned in a very big way. Astro Pak Corp., first present in Brevard County back in 1959 during the space industry’s earliest days, hosted an open house in late October to celebrate its new Florida facility, located just outside the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville. The newly renovated, 38,000-sq.-ft. facility opened earlier in July, representing both a new chapter for the precision cleaning company and a return to old stomping grounds.
In 2016, Astro Pak acquired Chemko Technical Services, based in Mims since 1972, and was focused on industries such as medical devices, semiconductors, laser and automotive, in addition to aerospace. The new facility more than quadruples the available floor space. And now, with the space industry again buzzing with activity, Astro Pak is seeking to take up where it left off so many years ago — with on-site work at KSC, principally at the mobile launch platform in support of NASA’s upcoming space launch system to accommodate a variety of next-generation launch vehicles.
Processing in a controlled environment, Astro Pak will specialize in, for example, cleanliness verification for particle count, vacuum sealed packaging, cold shock and pressure testing. Additionally, Astro Pak is able to meet numerous industry specifications that come with technical code initials such as KSC-C-123J, CGA G-4.1-2009, ASTM G-93-03 and more.
“We’ll be combining our world-class precision cleaning services and our industry-leading field operations teams under the same roof,”
said Astro Pak General Manager Jonathan Hopkins. “As a result, we’ll be able to support our customers both on the Space Coast and throughout the Southeast region. In a time of unparalleled growth in the space sector, the need for precision cleaning services on the Space Coast has never been clearer … The capacity and capabilities of this site are simply unmatched in the industry.”
Notably, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and the North Brevard Economic Development Zone, along with the City of Titusville and the Titusville Chamber of Commerce, assisted on the relocation. According to Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the EDC, the move not only means the retention of existing jobs, but also the creation of additional jobs, “further strengthening the Space Coast’s high-tech industry base,” she said.
The signature feature of Astro Pak’s new location is an enclosed 70-ft.-tall tower that measures 15 ft. x 15 ft. and can accommodate hoses of up to 60 feet in length.
Among other components, the facility also has an ISO 7 cleanroom and ISO 6 analysis lab, plus a pre-clean area with multiple work stations and ultrasonic units, as well as expanded hydrostatic, hydraulic and pneumatic testing capabilities. And the location serves as the hub for the mobilization of onsite field services.
In all, Astro Pak has 10 locations worldwide, including in Mexico and Puerto Rico, with another cleanroom facility in Downey, California.
At the same time, Astro Pak believes today, in Titusville, is the right time, right place.
“There’s just so much we have to look forward to out there,” concluded Hopkins.