Military Affairs to Oversee Alaska Aerospace
The state-owned company that operates the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) is getting a new place in the state bureaucracy in order to facilitate deals with military clients.
Securing contracts to launch these rockets is a "once in a generation" opportunity, Nash said, because new rockets are developed infrequently.
"If we do not do anything as a state, we have lost it," he said. "You only get the opportunity about once every 25 years."
The medium-lift rockets produce about twice the thrust of the November 2010 orbital launch from KLC, and can carry four times the payload. One possible payload for these rockets is
AAC would need an estimated $85 million to upgrade KLC for medium-lift rockets. The rough cost estimate is based on what the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., paid to upgrade.
The new launch pad for the rockets would probably be about 2,250 feet west of Kodiak's launch tower.
AAC has not yet decided how it would finance the upgrade to KLC, Nash said. Two possible sources of public funding are the Alaska Legislature or the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
AAC has already requested money from the Legislature this year to pay its operating expenses. A $4 million expenditure for the corporation made it into the governor's proposed budget. Last year the corporation received another $4 million from the Legislature for its operating expenses.
Away from Kodiak, AAC is working to secure a ground-based midcourse Missile Defense Agency contract out of Fort Greeley. It is working with a
The contract award is due in May.
AAC previously held a different contract with the Missile Defense Agency that used KLC. The agency plans to launch
KLC's next launch is an Air Force communications satellite scheduled to launch some time in 2011.
Mirror writer Sam Friedman can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.