Alaska Aerospace Corporation starts company for out-of-state services

Alaska Aerospace Corporation launch facility in Narrow Cape. (Photo courtesy of AAC)

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation will establish a subsidiary to handle its out-of-state services.

Listen now

AAC conducts rocket launches from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Narrow Cape and its corporate offices are in Anchorage. It’s contracted with both the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and private businesses. It’s also provided its services to a company called Rocket Lab in New Zealand.

President and chief executive officer Craig Campbell said that’s one of the first contracts AAC will transfer when it forms Aurora Launch Services.

“The board has felt that if we’re gonna – as a commercial business – generate income and do it outside of Alaska, that we should probably have a subsidiary that does that actual work, so that way it’s not actually state employees that are now working in other states and other countries,” Campbell said.

Campbell says Aurora’s focus over the next three to five years will be launches from Alaska and any continued work with Rocket Lab, but AAC is also looking at an equatorial site so they can launch near the equator. He said they’re considering Hawaii or Saipan.

Campbell also said they’re looking at partnering with developing spaceports, possibly in Georgia, Texas, or Scotland.

“There are a number of other places looking at developing spaceports, and we think we could probably provide a very competitive proposal how using Aurora Launch Services for their launch services at those locations would be very beneficial to them as well as giving us more business for Alaska,” Campbell said.

Campbell says while AAC remains a state corporation, it hasn’t received state money since 2014. He says spaceports should operate on a commercial basis like airports.

“They charge fees for their services, they contract out for different things being done at their facilities, and so what we’re trying to do at Alaska Aerospace is show that we can lower costs, provide better services, more flexible services by operating under a commercial model than under a government model, and Aurora becomes a very important part of that,” Campbell said.

Campbell said they’re filing the paperwork for the subsidiary this week.