05 December 2008
It Really Is Space Pork Kodiak
Congratulations to Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation for their eternal optimism and complete disregard for reality.
We had an eerie feeling of déjà vu when we read AADC President Tom Case’s claim: “We (AADC) are on the tipping point of being able to break out into a significant aerospace industry in Alaska.”
In the mid 1990’s, when the KLC was just a dream due to lack of funding, Pat Ladner repeatedly claimed, “Build it and they (private commercial launches) will come.” Local residents who researched the satellite launch market as well as the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority knew private customers were not coming and they never did.
So Ted Stevens pressured the Pentagon into funding the construction with your taxes and every launch has been government funded, all but one overtly military.
Now, despite an inability to cover operation costs with launch revenues, AADC wants to build even more infrastructure at Narrow Cape: an additional launch pad and a rocket motor storage facility. They want even more handouts from the federal and state governments to build their “field of dreams”. These unneeded structures would be located on the ridge overlooking West Twin Lake and Fossil Beach.
Why? Because “AADC anticipates a demand for ‘the ability to put small satellites into orbit quickly to fill a specific need for a period of time.’”. They also anticipated a demand for the ability to launch commercial satellites. We all know how that worked out. There are no corn fields at Narrow Cape from which launch customers will magically appear.
Governor Palin inserted three million dollars of state funding in the last state budget to help AADC with their dreams, yet vetoed a request for one-third that amount to fund seismic upgrades to Peterson Elementary School. She might be out a-huntin’ and a-fishin’ but she shore ain’t figgered out fiscal responsibility and wise use of state funds.
As the KLC launch tower continues to corrode, it is time to stop wasting tax dollars and state funds on a rusty white elephant. It is still Space Pork Kodiak, no matter how you slice it.