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Alaska's Spaceport & Money

Kodiak Spaceport (now called Pacific Spaceport Complex) is a great lesson in stubborness. Aside from not being a jobs engine like was promised, it has never paid its way. All but 1 of its 17 launches since 1999 were paid for by the US government. After the Federal Government stopped funding Kodiak, Alaska has had to put in money every year to

keep it open. But hope is eternal in Alaska because they are investing again to build a new launch pad (#3).

Fortunately for Camden, Kodiak can only launch polar orbits so they won't be competition.

And lucky for Alaskans, their State has oil revenue that helps pay the bills.

6th Anniversary Repairs

Sept 15, 2005

When concern was expressed about the severe rust and corrosion evident after the tower was opened, AADC officials assured us that they were preparing to deal with the problem. It has been more than eight months since the last launch at the complex. The tower itself was completed in 1999.The remaining infrastructure of the KLC cost around 50 million dollars, funded by various branches of the military and the Department of Defense. In its seven years of launches, Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, a state owned and operated corporation, has never earned enough money from launches to cover KLC operating costs. The shortfall has been made up by federal funding.

Kodiak Launch Complex Loses Missile Defense Work

15 April 2010, The Associated Press

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency's decision to send test missiles from the Marshall Islands has left the Kodiak Launch Complex without its most valuable customer. The agency has launched eight rockets from Kodiak since 2004.

The Alaska Aerospace Corp., a state agency, is now looking for new customers to launch rockets from its Kodiak complex. In the meantime, the corporation requested $4 million from the state's capital budget to help pay its bills.

Launch complex gobbles money but gives Alaskans little in return

April 5, 2011 Mike Sirofchuck

Spaceport Kodiak has been open for 13 years, never breaking even, costing the state more and more money while providing minimal returns and economic benefits to our community and our state.

Launch or Lose Funding Ultimatum Given to Alaska Aerospace

Apr 22, 2013 James Brooks/  
Hidden within the funding for Alaska Aerospace — which operates the Kodiak Launch Complex — is a catch. If Alaska Aerospace does not sign a long-term commercial launch contract by March 31, 2014, the legislature will cut its budget by one-quarter. That’s below the amount AAC leaders have said is necessary to maintain the Kodiak Launch Complex and keep AAC running as a viable corporation, but AAC CEO Craig Campbell said he’s confident his company can meet the challenge. As of April 22, 2013 it has been 573 days since the last launch at the KLC. 

Is it time for the state to get out of the aerospace business?

November 25, 2014 Amanda Coyne
"It costs about $8.5 million to keep the lights on, the employees paid and the pencils sharpened. In 2012, the corporation told the state that in order to stay afloat, it would need $100 million to upgrade the facility to accommodate bigger loads. The state appropriated $25 million and said that it would consider giving it the remaining funds when the corporation could prove that it had contracts in hand."

Alaska to Spend $125 Million to Expand Kodiak - Jobs May be Elsewhere

Kodiak Rapid Launch/Medium Lift Project Economic Benefits Analysis

January 2010

"In terms of where new jobs will be based, clearly some additional employment would occur in Kodiak due to community’s immediate proximity to the launch complex. However, businesses looking to establish a presence in Alaska in support of Kodiak launches will consider a number of logistical, cost, and quality of life factors in determining where to base employees. Proximity to Alaska headquarters for engineering, technical and other professional service firms, access to varied arts, cultural and entertainment opportunities, school selections, and a range of other factors work in Anchorage’s favor in the regard. While it is not possible to predict with any certainty where new space industry jobs in Alaska would be based, both Anchorage and Kodiak could expect to see new jobs and related economic activity."

Who allowed a local school to “crumble” to save Kodiak’s spaceport?

Sep 21, 2015 
"The $5 million Barnette School remodel that Tammie “sacrificed” didn’t reduce Alaska’s deficit as she claimed in the hearing. It was instead used to restore most of the money that Gov. Walker had initially cut from the Kodiak launch complex."

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Has Kodiak been a bad investment for Alaska taxpayers?


Can Camden afford even one bad year like Kodiak has had for the past 15?


If there is a shortage of spaceport capacity, why is Kodiak not used more?


Can Kodiak survive with commercial launches alone?


After $60 million, why are they having to spend another $120 million to become competitive? Who will pay the $125 million at Spaceport Camden?


What do you do with a used spaceport, if nobody wants it?



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