From the Last Frontier to the Final Frontier: Low-Cost, Schedule Flexibility, and Business Best-Practices.
Alaska provides proven and experienced low-cost assured access to space for commercial, civil, scientific, and national security customers using small- and light-lift launch vehicles. Alaska operates two highly accessible, world-class launch sites: an FAA-licensed orbital spaceport on Kodiak Island and a suborbital launch site at the world’s largest land based rocket range at Poker Flat.
The Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island is a multiuser commercial spaceport providing year-round launch opportunity. Since 1998, government and commercial customers have leveraged Kodiak’s deep-water, ice-free port, daily passenger and cargo jet service, and redundant fiber optic connectivity to efficiently conduct suborbital and orbital launches. As one of only four orbital rocket launch sites in the United States, PSCA’s direct injection into a wide range of high-inclination, polar, and sun-synchronous orbits (59 and 110 degrees) maximizes small- and light-lift launch vehicle efficiency. Since PSCA is the only U.S. vertical orbital launch site not co-located on a federal range, customers enjoy the benefits of low-cost, schedule flexibility, and business best-practices.
Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) just outside Fairbanks, in Alaska’s interior, is the world’s largest land-based rocket research range and world’s only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university. The University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute operates the site and regularly conducts sounding rocket launches for NASA to study the aurora, the upper atmosphere, and conduct suborbital science. Being on Alaska’s road system, rocket and payload logistics to PFRR are streamlined. In addition to launching sounding rockets, Poker Flat is home to many scientific instruments designed to study the arctic atmosphere and ionosphere.
Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), the state’s public entity to develop the state’s high technology aerospace industry is best known for operating PSCA. They also work closely with the Department of Defense, state partners, and industry to meet a growing portfolio of aerospace requirements. AAC and the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute also collaborate to develop Alaska’s workforce and promote new space entrepreneurs. For example, AAC and the university co-lead the Rapid & Agile Space Launch (RASL) Innovation Center to study spaceport responsiveness and agility, discover innovative approaches, and test new technologies.