Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska
The Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA), formerly known as the Kodiak Launch Complex, is a dual-use commercial and military spaceport for sub-orbital and orbital launch vehicles. The facility is owned and operated by the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, a public corporation of the State of Alaska, and is located on Kodiak Island in Alaska.
The spaceport opened in 1998 and has supported 17 launches, most of those for the U.S. government. The site was closed for two years following a launch failure that did significant damage to parts of the spaceport. It reopened in August 2016.
Following the incorporation of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation in 1991 by the Alaska state legislature, plans were begun for the spaceport, known during development as the Alaska Orbital Launch Complex. Construction on the site began in January 1998, and the first launch took place in August 1998 from temporary accommodations at the site.
After a launch failure in August 2014 damaged the launch tower, payload processing facility and integrated processing facility, Alaska Aerospace made plans to repair and upgrade the facilities to support larger rockets, but Governor Bill Walker stopped work in December 2014 as part of an order to address a state budget shortfall. Repairs to the facility were funded by state insurance at a cost of US$26–29 million. During efforts to repair the facilities, the spaceport was formally renamed to "Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska" in an announcement made on April 14, 2015. The facility was formally re-dedicated on August 13, 2016, to celebrate the completion of repairs.
In mid-2016, the Alaska Aerospace Corporation "signed a multi-year contract with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for multiple launches from the PSCA through 2021." The arrangement includes a sole-source contract for two flight tests of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Two private companies, Rocket Lab USA and Vector Space Systems, are considering using the spaceport for commercial launches as early as 2019. Another private company, Eclipse Orbital, is working with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation to prepare for flight operations of their "Corona" launch vehicle in 2020.
The Kodiak spaceport has two launch pads with a mission control center that includes 64 workstations with high-speed communications and data links. There is a clean room for preparing satellites for launch, a fully enclosed 17-story-tall rocket assembly building and two independent range and telemetry systems. The complex sits on 3,700 acres (15 km2) of state-owned land. Launch pad 1 is designed for orbital launches, while launch pad 2 is intended for sub-orbital flights. A third launch pad is planned which would allow the facility to support quick launches of satellites: under 24 hours to launch from 'go ahead'.
The first orbital launch from the Kodiak Launch Complex was an Athena I rocket which carried out the Kodiak Star mission for NASA and the Space Test Program, launching Starshine 3, Sapphire, PCSat, and PICOSatS on September 30, 2001.
|1||November 6, 1998
|First stage: Aerojet SR-19-AJ-1
Second stage: Hercules M57A1
|ait-1||LP-2||Success||Mission for the U.S. Air Force. Carried various experiments and instruments, including a "Global Positioning System antenna, Honeywell GPS Measure Unit, Electromagnetic Radio Tornography experiment, Langmuir probe and an Air Force nosetip".|
|2|| September 15, 1999
|First stage: Castor 4B
Second stage: Hercules M57A1
|ait-2||LP-2||Success||Mission for the U.S. Air Force. Carried various experiments and instruments, including a Langmuir probe, the Boston Rocket Ionospheric Tomography Experiment, an interceptor seeker, and calibration equipment.|
|3||March 22, 2001||Aries 47||QRLV-1||LP-2||Success||Mission for the U.S. Air Force.|
|4||September 30, 2001
|Athena I (LM-001)||LP-1||Success||Kodiak Star mission for Lockheed/NASA; first orbital launch from Kodiak.|
|5||November 9, 2001
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Failure||West Coast Risk-Reduction Flight (WCRRF) for the U.S. Army. Rocket exploded 56 seconds after launch.|
|6||April 24, 2002||Aries 49||QRLV-2||LP-2||Success||Mission for the U.S. Air Force.|
|7||December 15, 2004
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Failure||IFT-13c mission for MDA. Target successfully launched from Kodiak, but interceptor failed to launch from Kwajalein.|
|8||February 14, 2005
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Failure||IFT-14 mission for MDA. Target successfully launched from Kodiak, but interceptor failed to launch from Kwajalein.|
|9||February 23, 2006
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Success||FTX-01 mission for MDA.|
|10||September 1, 2006
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Success||FTG-02 mission for MDA. Both the target at Kodiak and interceptor at Kwajalein successfully launched.|
|11||May 25, 2007
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Failure||FTG-03 mission for MDA. Target missile from Kodiak flew off course and interceptor was not launched.|
|12||September 28, 2007
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Success||FTG-03a mission for MDA. Successful intercept.|
|13||July 18, 2008
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Success||FTX-03 mission for MDA. Target launched from Kodiak was tracked by land-, sea- and space-based tracking systems. Navy and Air Force units simulated interceptor shootdowns.|
|14||December 5, 2008
|Polaris A-3 STARS-1||LP-2||Success||FTG-05 mission for MDA. Successful intercept of a target launched from Kodiak by an interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB.|
|15||November 20, 2010
|Minotaur IV||LP-1||Success||STP-S26 mission for the U.S. Air Force. Included a Hydrazine Auxiliary Propulsion System (HAPS) to move vehicle to a secondary orbit after ejecting payloads.|
|16||September 27, 2011
|Minotaur IV+||TacSat-4||LP-1||Success||Mission for the U.S. Air Force.|
|17||August 25, 2014
|Polaris STARS IV||Advanced Hypersonic Weapon||LP-2||Failure||Flight Test 2 for the U.S. Army's AHW program. Flight terminated by range safety four seconds after launch due to rocket anomaly. Kodiak's LP-1 launch tower, payload processing facility, and integrated processing facility suffered damage due to the termination.|
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US Air Force QRLV 1: Successful launch March 22, 2001.
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An Air Force and aerospace industry team successfully launched a quick reaction launch vehicle here on April 24.
- Wilke, Gregory D. (2006). An Overview of Kodiak Launch Complex Operational Weather Support for the Missile Defense Agency's Integrated Flight Test 13 and 14 Launches (PDF). 12th Conference on Aviation Range and Aerospace Meteorology, 86th AMS Annual Meeting. January 28 – February 3, 2006. Atlanta, Georgia. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society.
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- Wall, Mike (November 19, 2010). "Rocket Loaded With Solar Sail and Satellites Blasts Off From Alaska". Space.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Graham, William (September 27, 2011). "Orbital Minotaur IV launches with TacSat-4". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Gertz, Bill (August 25, 2014). "Army Hypersonic Missile Fails in Second Test". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska.|
- Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska website by the Alaska Aerospace Corporation
- Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation Annual Reports from 2002 to present hosted by the Alaska State Publications Program.
- Economic impact of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation on the Kodiak Island Borough and the State of Alaska 2006 hosted by the Alaska State Publications Program.
- Environmental monitoring report, FTG-02 launch : Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak, Alaska / prepared for Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation (2007) hosted by the Alaska State Publications Program.
- Environmental monitoring report, FT-04-1 launch : Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak, Alaska (2006) hosted by the Alaska State Publications Program.