Astro Pak was literally born at the dawn of the Space Race, serving North American Rockwell and other Southern California aerospace companies as they built the first spacecraft that would take Americans into Earth’s orbit and beyond, to the Moon. Sixty years later, we continue to serve those companies building manned and unmanned space vehicles as well as the support equipment and launch facilities.
In addition to precision cleaning, passivating, assembling and packaging flight equipment, Astro Pak also performs a variety of testing regimens including hydrostatic, pneumatic and helium leak testing as well as residual gas analysis. We offer a wide range of process methods ranging from hand detail cleaning, high pressure spraying, ultrasonic, flow through circulation, and vacuum bake out among others. And when absolute sterility matters, NASA’s partner, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, turns to Astro Pak to ensure that components of the Mars 2020 Rover will not contaminate the Red Planet as it searches for life.
Just as Astro Pak’s list of services has grown over the past six decades, so has the number of service facilities located around the country to offer in-house and on-site services to its clients. This includes our newest location on Florida’s Space Coast, right outside the Kennedy Space Center. There, Astro Pak’s skilled technicians are working on the center’s Mobile Launch Platforms, the giant tractors which will transport the US’ next generation of manned space vehicles from the Vertical Assembly Building to the launch site. Further work is being performed on the facility’s cryogenic and heat exchange systems, to ensure that they will withstand the extreme temperatures critical for successful launches.
Recognized as the industry leader in precision cleaning across a number of disciplines, Astro Pak continues to innovate. While nitric acid is the default standard for cleaning stainless steel and making it corrosion resistant, Astro Pak leads the way in developing the technology of using citric acid, including our patented Ultra Pass® procedure, for a less costly, more environmentally friendly and more effective solution that NASA has recognized as performing “as well as or better than” the standard process. The rise of 3-D printing for parts has created unique problems for precision cleaning, in part due to the complex entrapment areas and the surface smoothness, known as Roughness Average. Astro Pak is continuing to engineer new techniques to ensure that the new generation of flight hardware are cleaned to the proper levels to ensure safe and successful space flight.