Begich Asks the Commander of Air Force Space Command to Maximize Kodiak Launch Complex
Yesterday, Sen. Mark Begich sent a letter to Gen. William Shelton, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, urging him to maximize the use of the Kodiak launch complex in Kodiak.
The Kodiak Launch Complex is the nation's first commercial spaceport not located on a federal range.
The complex is located 44 miles south of Kodiak on narrow Cape. The complex is the nation's only high latitude full-service spaceport.
Owned and operated by the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, the facility is used for sub-orbital and orbital space launch vehicles. The Alaska Aerospace Corporation is a public corporation of the state of Alaska.
Since its beginnings in 1991, the complex has handled 14 launches, most of which were for the US government. To this date the complex has had a 100% success rate.
KLC sports a fully enclosed 17 story tall rocket assembly building, a clean room for satellite preparation, to launch pads, and a 64 workstation mission control center. A third launchpad is in the planning stages.
In the letter, Sen. Begich points out KLC is the nation’s only high-latitude full service spaceport and is uniquely-positioned to support launches into polar orbit. Begich wants to ensure Alaska’s space infrastructure is considered by the Department of Defense for upcoming launch opportunities to promote business and jobs in the state. Begich asks the General to let the senator know how the Air Force may be able to further integrate KLC into future space launch capabilities as an efficient and cost-effective facility.
In early March, Lockheed Martin Corporation announced that it had chosen the launch complex as its dedicated West Coast launch facilities for Athena rocket launches, it also stated that it is been working with the state of Alaska and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation developing plans for a new medium lift launchpad. This new launchpad will have the capability to support potential Athena III launches.
Lockheed Martin has been involved with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation since its very beginnings and its first launch of the NASA Kodiak Star Athena I launch in September of 2001.
The Kodiak launch complex is slated to launch an Athena II ride share launch in late 2013.
The letter to Gen. William Shelton can be read here.