Alaska Aerospace Corp. Hires New CEO

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AAC PR) — The Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) announces the hiring of Milton B. Keeter Jr. to serve as the Company’s new CEO. Milton will be stepping into the CEO position that has been held by acting CEO John Cramer who has been in place since former CEO Mark Lester left June 30, 2021.

Milton Keeter brings a wealth of space launch experience to Alaska Aerospace. His expertise in launch range safety and FAA space launch licensing is especially strong. Prior to joining Alaska Aerospace, Milton was the Director of Launch Safety and Licensing at ABL Space Systems, El Segundo, Ca. and before that role he was the Vice President of Launch Operations, Head of Safety and Launch Licensing for Astra Space, Inc. Alameda Ca.

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FAA Rolls Out New System to Better Track Launches, Reentries

WASHINGTON (FAA PR) – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can now track a space launch or reentry vehicle in near-real time as it travels through the National Airspace System. This new capability increases safety for all airspace users and assists the FAA in efficiently managing air traffic during space operations.

The Space Data Integrator (SDI) prototype automates the delivery of vehicle-related telemetry data to the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center. This vastly improves the FAA’s situational awareness of where the vehicle is as it travels to space or as it returns to the Earth. In addition to existing tools, the FAA also can use SDI to manage air traffic more efficiently as a space operation progresses and address contingencies in the event of an anomaly during a mission.

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Phantom Space Corporation Names Mark Lester New Vice President of Launch Operations

Phantom Daytona-E rocket. (Credit: Phantom Space)

The former CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corporation will be leading Phantom’s ongoing launch developments, preparations, and executions.

TUCSON, Az. , June 15, 2021 (Phantom Space PR) – Phantom Space Corporation, the space transportation technology development and manufacturing company, today announced the hiring of Mark Lester. He will be fulfilling the role of Vice President of Launch Operations. This comes alongside the news of Phantom’s latest expansion: a new 32,000 square foot facility in Tucson, Arizona, that will serve as Phantom’s first rocket factory.

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Indian Startup to Test Smallsat Launcher in Alaska

Indian startup Agnikul Cosmos Launch Vehicles has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to test its Agnibaan booster at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska on Kodiak Island.

The agreement commits Agnikul and Alaska Aerospace Corporation to working together to obtain regulatory and export control approvals from the Indian and American governments for an initial test launch in 2022, CNBC TV18 reports.

“We are thrilled Agnikul has partnered with Alaska Aerospace for high inclination flight testing. Agnikul has established itself as a leading rocket technology company, and we are pleased Alaska’s proven launch infrastructure and expertise continue to attract new space launch companies from around the world,” said Mark Lester, president and CEO of Alaska Aerospace.

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Alaska Aerospace Corp. Considers Spaceport Location in Hawaii

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that Alaska Aerospace Corp. is eying land on Hawaii’s Big Island near Keaau for the construction of a new spaceport. An environmental assessment is now being drawn up.

Mark Lester, president of the organization established by the state of Alaska, said he’s aware spaceport proposals have a fraught history on Hawaii Island, where community concerns about safety and environmental impacts have kept them grounded.

The organization is hoping its proposed facility would be small enough to be able to win community support.

“Don’t think of what you see at Cape Canaveral,” he said, noting payloads would be between 50 to 100 kilograms.

“This is really a couple concrete pads with very little permanent infrastructure.”











Alaska Aerospace to Host Open House & Town Hall Meeting in Kodiak

KODIAK, AK (Alaska Aerospace PR) — Alaska Aerospace is hosting an Open House at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm to celebrate twenty years of launch activities. The public is invited to visit the site, where Alaska Aerospace staff will be providing tours of the spaceport facilities.

“In commemoration of twenty years of launch activity from our spaceport in Kodiak, we are excited about this opportunity to showcase our facilities to the public,” said Craig Campbell, Alaska Aerospace President and Chief Executive Officer. “With our expanded business plan of providing launch services to the new small launch vehicle market, we want people to see the changes we have made at the site and learn about our future plans to provide greater economic benefit to the community,” Campbell stated.

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Aurora Launch Systems Established to Provide Services at Kodiak

Anchorage, AK — July 6, 2018 (Alaska Aerospace Corporation PR) — Alaska Aerospace today launched Aurora Launch Services as a wholly-owned subsidiary to offer low cost launch services to both commercial and government customers worldwide. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Aurora Launch Services will be the exclusive provider for launch services at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska, located in Kodiak.

This is an exciting time for Alaska Aerospace as we expand our service capabilities and provide new employment opportunities for Alaskans, in Alaska.” claimed Craig Campbell, Alaska Aerospace President and CEO. “I am proud to announce that Mr. John Cramer has been selected as the first Aurora Launch Services President and he will be building a dynamic team over the next few months designed to provide the lowest cost launch services available in the country from a fully licensed spaceport.” he stated.

Providing streamlined, efficient launch services, based on customer defined requirements will enable Aurora Launch Services to tailor our team specifically to each customer’s unique needs.” said John Cramer. “I look forward to this new horizon of aerospace development in Alaska.” he concluded.

Alaska Aerospace is a state-owned corporation established to develop a high-technology aerospace industry in Alaska. Alaska Aerospace operates the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) located on Kodiak Island offering all indoor, all weather, processing and providing optimal support for both orbital and sub-orbital space launches. Its corporate headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska with a regional office in Huntsville, Alabama.











Astra Space Scrubs Second Launch Attempt

Astra Space scrubbed another attempt to launch its Rocket 1 booster from the Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska on Friday, according to media reports.

The company, which is based in Alamedia, Calif., had planned to launch the booster on a suborbital flight. The rocket is composed of a first stage and a dummy second stage.

Astra Space had a launch window of May 10-11. The company scrubbed an earlier launch attempt in early April.











Astra Space Reschedules Booster Flight Test

Astra Space has rescheduled the inaugural launch of its new smallsat booster for next month from Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska on Kodiak Island.

Officials at the Pacific Spaceport Complex did not give a cause for why an April 6 was scrubbed earlier this month, but confirmed the decision was not related to the spaceport facilities, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Friday.

The new launch is scheduled for May 10 or May 11, said Mike Morton, a director of the Alaska Aerospace Corp….

The documents filed last month for the previous planned launch indicated that Astra was authorized to send up a suborbital vehicle to carry “an inert upper stage on a suborbital trajectory without a payload.”

Read the full story.











Alaska Aerospace Clarifies Development Plans for Kodiak Facility

ANCHORAGE, AK (Alaska Aerospace Corporation PR) — Alaska Aerospace today clarified details pertaining to commercial launch activities and development plans at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA), located on Kodiak Island, following misinformation across social media channels.

Alaska Aerospace is responsible for any and all infrastructure development at PSCA, limiting air travel near PSCA, impact to public lands near PSCA and notifying the community of these plans. While Vector Launch Inc. will be conducting an orbital launch at PSCA later this year, Alaska Aerospace does not currently have a contract with Vector or any other commercial launch vendor for construction of a new launch pad at PSCA. Over the last two years, Alaska Aerospace has worked with Vector to explore the establishment of commercial launch operations at existing launch pads at PSCA.

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Astra Space Set to Launch From Alaska

Astra Space is set for the first flight of its new small-satellite launcher on Thursday from Alaska.

The FAA has granted a launch license to the California company for a suborbital flight of Rocket 1 from Launch Pad 2 at the Pacific spaceport Complex — Alaska on Kodiak Island.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM) about the launch has been posted for April 5 at 2000 UTC and ending on April 6 at 0200 UTC (12 to 6 p.m. AKDT /4 to 10 p.m. EDT).

Details are sparse about the company and booster. However, it is believed that the two-stage rocket will be capable of placing a payload weighing up to 100 kg into orbit.

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation, which runs the Kodiak spaceport, has billed the flight as the first of what it hopes will be many commercial launches from the underused facility.

Formerly known as Ventions LLC, Astra Space is operating under a $2 million contract with NASA to develop and flight test a high performance electric pump-fed launch vehicle. The 18-month contract runs through mid-December.

Founded in 2004, the company has been awarded 29 contracts worth nearly $21 million over the past 11 years from NASA, U.S. Air Force, DARPA, Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Army.











A Closer Look at Astra Space

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

At some point in the next few weeks, the Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska will host its first commercial rocket launch. Officials at the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, which runs the spaceport, are hoping the suborbital test flight is the first of many commercial flights from the underused facility.

While officials have not identified the California company conducting the launch, a perusal of the corporation’s board minutes indicate it is almost certainly a small Bay Area startup named Astra Space.

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Alaska Aerospace Corporation Eyes Asian Smallsat Launch Market

ANCHORAGE, Ala. (AAC PR) — Following participation in the 2017 Japan Space Symposium, Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) President and Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Campbell traveled to Hokkaido, Japan with a joint Japanese and American delegation to visit a proposed launch site in the coastal town of Taiki.

As part of the itinerary, the delegation toured the headquarters and manufacturing facility of Interstellar Technologies. Interstellar Technologies is a Japanese company developing a launch vehicle to support the nano and micro commercial satellite industry.

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Alaska Aerospace Corporation Seeks Out of State Spaceport

Alaska Aerospace Corp. is looking to establish an equatorial launch complex outside of the state to supplement the one it operates in Kodiak, according to CEO Craig Campbell.

The state-owned corporation’s board of directors recently authorized spending of up to $250,000 for surveys, property appraisal, site design and other preliminary efforts for the launch site, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday. Campbell estimated $30,000 to $35,000 of the funds has already been spent.

“We’re headquartered in Alaska, we employ Alaskans. We’re trying to get more business for Kodiak, so if we can offer the full range of equatorial and polar, that gets more customers to come to us for polar operations out of Alaska,” Campbell said. “That gives us a greater opportunity to have more business at the PSCA, which is the goal and objective of why we’re doing this.”

The company has been eyeing several sites for the facility, including in Hawaii and Saipan.

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Alaska Officials Re-dedicate Pacific Spaceport Complex

Craig Campbell, Lindsay Knight, Jenith Flynn, Dr. Robert McCoy, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes re-dedicate the Pacific Spaceport Complex -- Alaska. (Credit: AAC)
Craig Campbell, Lindsay Knight, Jenith Flynn, Dr. Robert McCoy, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes re-dedicate the Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska. (Credit: AAC)

KODIAK, AK. (AAC PR) — On Saturday, August 13th, Alaska Aerospace Corporation and the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) commemorating completion of the rebuilding of damaged facilities caused by the launch failure in August 2014.

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