A KNIGHTON company had an experience that was out of this world when it was visited by a retired American astronaut.

Scott “Doc” Horowitz visited family-run business Laminating Technology to find out all about the work it does.

He will also set up business connections for the firm during a visit to Washington in June by Rob Bridgland, one of the partners, as part of a trip organised by International Business Wales.

Scott now has his own company, Doc’s Aerospace, which is working with International Business Wales to help Welsh businesses find a network of people in America that can help them move into the US marketplace.

When in Washington, business representatives will be able to talk to people from Boeing and visit NASA.

Laminating Technology builds machines to make parts for aircraft, as well as a whole range of other industries.

It was started 14 years ago in Knighton working from a small outlet in Station Road before moving to Knighton Business Park and its current location of Caines Yard.

The company exports more than 70 per cent of its products all over the world, including Russia, Dubai, Taiwan, China and America.

The firm, which is run by Rob Bridgland and his sons Dominic and Christian, employs nine people and works closely with other small businesses in Knighton and Mid Wales. It is hoped that, after the American trip, new orders will come in and the business will be able to employ more people.

Before leaving Knighton, Scott called into Knighton Primary School for a quick visit, where he talked to the children and answered lots of questions.

Scott has been on four space shuttle missions and was commander of Discovery on his last flight, which was to the International Space Station.