Anchorage, Alaska (AAC PR) – The Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) will receive half of the $6 million in the Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriations Omnibus Bill (HR83) for state owned spaceports. AAC has been working with the Alaska congressional delegation for the past two years to establish a program to support non-Federal spaceports that provide launch services in support of the national security space program, similar to the funding program used to support launches from Federal launch complexes.
“I am very proud of the hard work put in by our congressional delegation: Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Mark Begich, and Congressman Young,” Craig Campbell, President and CEO of AAC, said. “Senator Murkowski and her colleagues reached across the aisle to provide a solution that benefits the entire space-launch community.”
It could not have come at a more critical time. With the state under pressure to reduce state expenditures, this appropriation recognizes that the Federal government has an obligation to provide financial support to non-Federal spaceports that provide launch services for the Federal government. This appropriation allows non-Federal spaceports to remain competitive in launch service costs, which should generate increased launches in future years.
“The Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) is a critical facility for the United States,” Campbell said. “It is one of two polar-orbit spaceports in the United States and provides greater payload capability and more launch schedule assurance for small lift customers than launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.”
With the current infrastructure at KLC, customers can store motors and satellites to create a scenario where a company can launch on demand.
“Our aim is to meet the customer’s needs with the greatest amount of expertise possible,” Campbell said. “Now we can match the Air Force cost structure and give the customer a guaranteed launch window.”
“We want AAC to be the aerospace industry’s first choice,” Campbell said.
AAC owns and operates KLC. It is the first commercial spaceport in the United States not collocated on a federal range and is the nation’s only high-latitude, full-service non-Federal spaceport.
Editor’s Note: Jeff Foust reports that officials are continuing repairs at the spaceport that resulted from an earlier launch failure. Those repairs are covered by insurance.
Officials are also consulting with the governor’s office on whether a plan to upgrade the launch complex for Lockheed Martin’s medium-lift Athena IIS rocket can continue. Gov. Bill Walker recently named the project as one that should be halted due to a budget crisis caused by low oil prices.