State Senators Host Alaska Rocket and Space Summit

Is Alaska ready for the space age? That’s the question on the mind of some state senators, who hosted the Alaska Rocket and Space Summit at the Anchorage legislative information office Thursday. The day-long session featured presentations from representatives of successful aerospace enterprises in Florida and Utah, and from Alaska agencies like the state Department of Transportation and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.

Alaska Senate President Gary Stevens says the state needs to decide the level it wants to fund the developing aerospace industry.

He says Governor Parnell put $25 million into the budget this year to maintain the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, a state owned agency which operates the Kodiak Launch Complex.

Stevens says Lockheed Martin has also promised to put $100 million into a medium size lift facility at the Kodiak Launch site this year.

Lockheed Martin wants the Kodiak site for its Athena III rocket for West Coast launches.  Stevens says the Athena is able to launch payloads of 13,000 pounds into orbit.

Stevens says the testimony he’s heard indicates that satellites can be launched from Alaska as effectively and as economically as anywhere else in the country.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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