Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska

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Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska
Athena 1 rocket launching from Kodiak Island 2.jpg
Athena I vehicle with Kodiak Star mission outside the Launch Service Structure in 2001
LocationKodiak Island, Alaska, USA
Coordinates57°26′09″N 152°20′16″W / 57.43583°N 152.33778°W / 57.43583; -152.33778
OperatorAlaska Aerospace Corporation
Launch history
Launches24
First launch6 November 1998
Last launch26 July 2019
Associated
rockets
Athena I, Minotaur IV
Rocket 3.1 launch attempt.

The Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA), formerly known as the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC), is a dual-use commercial and military spaceport for sub-orbital and orbital launch vehicles.[1] The facility is owned and operated by the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, a public[clarification needed] corporation of the State of Alaska,[2][3] and is located on Kodiak Island in Alaska.

The spaceport opened in 1998 and has supported 24 (up to end of 2019) launches, most of those for the U.S. government. The site was closed for two years following a launch failure that caused significant damage to parts of the spaceport. It reopened in August 2016.

History[edit]

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.[4]

After a launch failure in August 2014 damaged the launch tower, payload processing facility and integrated processing facility,[5] 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.[6] Repairs to the facility were funded by state insurance at a cost of US$26–29 million.[7] During efforts to repair the facilities, the spaceport was formally renamed to "Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska" in an announcement made on 14 April 2015.[8] The facility was formally re-dedicated on 13 August 2016, to celebrate the completion of repairs.[1]

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 and Vector Space Systems, are considering using the spaceport for commercial launches as early as 2019.[1] Another private company, Eclipse Orbital, is working with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation to prepare for flight operations of their "Corona" launch vehicle in 2020.

Indian private space company Agnikul Cosmos signed a memorandum of agreement with Alaska Aerospace Corporation to test launch their Agnibaan rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex. The launch from Alaska is expected to take place from 2022 onwards. Under the agreement, Alaska Aerospace and AgniKul will work together to secure several regulatory approvals including US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch licensing, US export control, and will comply with export laws & regulations in India to receive necessary clearances from the Indian authorities as well. The aim is to define launch vehicle-spaceport interfaces, related procedures and conduct at least one test launch from PSCA.[9]

Launch facilities[edit]

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.[3]

In 2010, Alaska Aerospace Corp. had a concept plan for a third launch pad to be built, which could allow the facility to support quick launches of satellites: under 24 hours to launch from "go ahead".[3][needs update]

Launch history[edit]

The first orbital launch from the PSCA 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 30 September 2001.[10]

Launches from Kodiak Launch Complex
No. Date (UTC) Vehicle Payload Pad Orbital/Suborbital Result Remarks
1 November 6, 1998
01:32
First stage: Aerojet SR-19-AJ-1
Second stage: Hercules M57A1
ait-1[11] LP-2 Suborbital Success[12] 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".[12]
2 September 15, 1999
21:00[13]
First stage: Castor 4B
Second stage: Hercules M57A1
ait-2[14][15] LP-2 Suborbital Success[16] 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.[14]
3 March 22, 2001[17] Aries 47[18] QRLV-1 LP-2 Suborbital Success[17] Mission for the U.S. Air Force.
4 September 30, 2001
02:40[10]
Athena I (LM-001) LP-1 Orbital Success Kodiak Star mission for Lockheed/NASA; first orbital launch from Kodiak.
5 November 9, 2001
18:12
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Failure West Coast Risk-Reduction Flight (WCRRF) for the U.S. Army.[19] Rocket exploded 56 seconds after launch.[5]
6 April 24, 2002[20] Aries 49[18] QRLV-2 LP-2 Suborbital Success[20] Mission for the U.S. Air Force.
7 December 15, 2004
04:45[21]
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Failure IFT-13c mission for Missile Defense Agency. Target successfully launched from Kodiak, but interceptor failed to launch from Kwajalein.
8 February 14, 2005
06:22[21]
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Failure IFT-14 mission for MDA. Target successfully launched from Kodiak, but interceptor failed to launch from Kwajalein.
9 February 23, 2006
16:09
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Success FTX-01 mission for MDA.
10 September 1, 2006
17:22
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Success l FTG-02 mission for MDA. Both the target at Kodiak and interceptor at Kwajalein successfully launched.[22]
11 May 25, 2007
14:15
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Failure FTG-03 mission for MDA. Target missile from Kodiak flew off course and interceptor was not launched.
12 September 28, 2007
20:01
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Success FTG-03a mission for MDA. Successful intercept.
13 July 18, 2008
22:47[23]
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Success FTX-03 mission for MDA. Target launched from Kodiak was tracked by land-based, sea-based and space-based tracking systems. Navy and Air Force units simulated interceptor shootdowns.[24]
14 December 5, 2008
20:04
Polaris A-3 STARS-1[19] LP-2 Suborbital Success FTG-05 mission for MDA. Successful intercept of a target launched from Kodiak by an interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.[25]
15 November 20, 2010
01:25[26]
Minotaur IV LP-1 Orbital 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
15:49[27]
Minotaur IV+ TacSat-4 LP-1 Orbital Success Mission for the U.S. Air Force.
17 August 25, 2014
~08:00[28]
Polaris STARS IV[29] Advanced Hypersonic Weapon LP-2 Suborbital 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.[5][28][30] Kodiak's LP-1 launch tower, payload processing facility, and integrated processing facility suffered damage due to the termination.[5]
18 June 2017 Unknown Unknown Unknown Suborbital Unknown FTT-18 mission for the MDA[31]
19 July 2017 Unknown Unknown Unknown Suborbital Unknown FET-01 mission for the MDA[31]
20 July 20, 2018 Astra Rocket 1.0 Unknown LP-2 Suborbital Success P120 mission for a commercial sponsor[31] Astra
21 November 29, 2018 Astra Rocket 2.0 Unknown LP-2 Suborbital Partial failure Private commercial mission [32] for Astra
22 July 26, 2019 Arrow III Unknown Suborbital Success In a joint Israeli-American test conducted by the Israeli Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, the Arrow 3 system successfully intercepted 3 "enemy" rockets, one of them outside the atmosphere. The tests demonstrated Arrow 3's ability to intercept exo-atmospheric targets.[33][34]
23 July 26, 2019 Arrow III Unknown Suborbital Success In a joint Israeli-American test conducted by the Israeli Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, the Arrow 3 system successfully intercepted 3 "enemy" rockets, one of them outside the atmosphere. The tests demonstrated Arrow 3's ability to intercept exo-atmospheric targets.[35][36]
24 July 26, 2019 Arrow III Unknown Suborbital Success In a joint Israeli-American test conducted by the Israeli Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, the Arrow 3 system successfully intercepted 3 "enemy" rockets, one of them outside the atmosphere. The tests demonstrated Arrow 3's ability to intercept exo-atmospheric targets.[37][38]
25 September 12, 2020 Astra Rocket 3.1 LP-3B[39] Orbital Failure Test mission for the Astra Rocket 3.1[40]
  • Additional sources: Center for Defense Information,[41] Missile Defense Agency[42]

The list above contains all launches, orbital and suborbital, up to end of 2019.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chambers, George (25 August 2016). "Kodiak Island spaceport reopens following 2014 launch failure". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  2. ^ "History and Organization". Alaska Aerospace Corporation. 2009. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Kodiak Readies for Quick Launch". Aviation Week. April 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  4. ^ Waite, Arthur C.; DeLuna, Alan T. (2012). Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) – aka – Alaska Orbital Launch Complex (AOLC) History and Lessons (PDF). SpaceOps 2012. 11–15 June 2012. Stockholm, Sweden. doi:10.2514/6.2012-1295313. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Mauer, Richard; Andrews, Laurel (25 August 2014). "Army rocket blown up during failed launch in Kodiak". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  6. ^ Brooks, James; Griffiths, Melissa (28 December 2014). "Gov. Walker halts megaprojects". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  7. ^ Toldanes, Roni (20 April 2015). "'Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska' courts new customers". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Name change announced for rocket launch complex on Kodiak". Alaska Dispatch News. Associated Press. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  9. ^ https://www.wionews.com/india-news/agnibaan-rocket-by-indian-start-up-to-be-test-launched-from-alaska-usa-331475
  10. ^ a b "Kodiak Star – Kodiak Island Video Feeds". NASA. 29 September 2001. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2013. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  11. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "SR-19 M-57A1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  12. ^ a b Inaba, Amy (6 November 1998). "Kodiak Launch: A Success" (Press release). Congressman Don Young. Retrieved 13 July 2013. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ Bowles, Ann E. (5 September 2000). Potential Impact of USAF atmospheric interceptor technology (ait) Launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, Alaska (Report). Defense Technical Information Center. p. 12. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b Williamson, Richard (10 September 1999). "AIT-2 rocket set for Kodiak launch". Astro News. Retrieved 12 July 2013 – via FAS.org.
  15. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Castor-4B M-57A". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  16. ^ "A Diversified, Sustainable Aerospace Industry for Alaska Strategic Plan 2011-2016" (PDF). Alaska Aerospace Corporation. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  17. ^ a b "State of Alaska: FY2003 Governor's Operating Budget" (PDF). Alaska Office of Management & Budget. 18 December 2001. p. 2. Retrieved 12 February 2018. US Air Force QRLV 1: Successful launch March 22, 2001. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  18. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "M-56 family". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Krebs, Gunter. "STARS". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Air Force Launches Rocket From Kodiak Island". Defense-aerospace.com. U.S. Department of Defense. 25 April 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2018. An Air Force and aerospace industry team successfully launched a quick reaction launch vehicle here on April 24.
  21. ^ a b 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.
  22. ^ "Missile Defense Exercise and Flight Test Successfully Completed" (PDF). Missile Defense Agency. 1 September 2006. 06-NEWS-0020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2006.
  23. ^ "US fires long-range missile in test". The Age. Agence France-Presse. 19 July 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  24. ^ "U.S. missile defense sensor test called successful". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. 18 July 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009.
  25. ^ "Missile Defense Flight Test Results in Successful Intercept" (PDF). Missile Defense Agency. 5 December 2008. 08-NEWS-0090. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2010.
  26. ^ Wall, Mike (19 November 2010). "Rocket Loaded With Solar Sail and Satellites Blasts Off From Alaska". Space.com. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  27. ^ Graham, William (27 September 2011). "Orbital Minotaur IV launches with TacSat-4". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  28. ^ a b Gertz, Bill (25 August 2014). "Army Hypersonic Missile Fails in Second Test". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  29. ^ Hubbs, Mark (July 2014). Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Flight Test 2 Hypersonic Technology Test: Environmental Assessment (PDF) (Report). U.S. Army. p. 2-1. SMDC Release #4044. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014.
  30. ^ Alexander, David; Shalal, Andrea (26 August 2014). "Experimental U.S. hypersonic weapon destroyed seconds after launch". Reuters. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  31. ^ a b c https://www.akaerospace.com/about/launch-manifest
  32. ^ https://www.akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/reports/2018%20AAC%20Annual%20Report.pdf
  33. ^ Judson, Jen (28 July 2019). "US, Israel's Arrow-3 missile put to the test in Alaska". Defense News. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  34. ^ Ahronheim, Anna (29 July 2019). "Israel, U.S. carry out successful test of Arrow-3 missile over Alaska". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  35. ^ Judson, Jen (28 July 2019). "US, Israel's Arrow-3 missile put to the test in Alaska". Defense News. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  36. ^ Ahronheim, Anna (29 July 2019). "Israel, U.S. carry out successful test of Arrow-3 missile over Alaska". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  37. ^ Judson, Jen (28 July 2019). "US, Israel's Arrow-3 missile put to the test in Alaska". Defense News. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  38. ^ Ahronheim, Anna (29 July 2019). "Israel, U.S. carry out successful test of Arrow-3 missile over Alaska". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Rocket 3.1 And Astra's Path To Orbit". Astra. 2 August 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  40. ^ Berger, Eric (14 September 2020). "Astra finally launches its first orbital rocket, and it flew for 30 seconds". Ars Technica. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  41. ^ Samson, Victoria; Black, Sam (18 June 2007). "Flight Tests for Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System" (PDF). Center for Defense Information. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2012.
  42. ^ "Ballistic Missile Defense Intercept Flight Test Record" (PDF). Missile Defense Agency. 14 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°26′09″N 152°20′16″W / 57.435833°N 152.337778°W / 57.435833; -152.337778