28 February 2009

The Legislature Finally Says "No More Handouts, AADC"

It would appear that the Alaska Legislature finally wants AADC to pay its own way, and to prove it can actually attract launch contracts before giving them any more handouts. Apparently, "build it and they will come" no longer convinces anyone. Of course, AADC said that for the initial construction of the KLC and hardly anybody showed up. And those who did (military launches) were probably there only because ex-Senator (now convicted felon) Ted Stevens pressured the Pentagon to pay for the KLC and launch there. The DoD has admitted that they had/have no need for the KLC.
AADC has admitted that launch revenues have not covered the cost of operating the facility. They've been living off state and federal welfare since 1995. And you thought bailouts were something new........

No stimulus for AADC despite Palin push
Article published on Friday, February 27th, 2009
Mirror Writer

It does not appear that the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) will benefit from state stimulus money as was anticipated, Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation President Dale Nash told the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at a work session Thursday night.

It had been hoped that the KLC would get $35 million to fund planned expansion of the facility. In a Jan. 7 letter to Alaska’s congressional delegation, Gov. Sarah Palin named KLC among the state’s top five priorities for federal funding, calling it “important for the nation’s defense.”

“We are still hoping to get $7 million from the state,” Nash said.

Nash discussed the use of hydrazine at KLC. Hydrazine, a highly toxic compound, is a liquid propellant used primarily to power onboard thrusters of spacecraft. The fact that the fuel will be shipped on-island for an upcoming launch in September was a matter of concern for some citizens.

The KLC operations plan allows the storage of up to 10,000 pounds of hydrazine to be stored onsite, but Nash said the fuel is shipped to KLC for specific missions and is not stored long-term.

Hydrazine is not used in the launch process, Nash pointed out. This will not be hydrazine’s first appearance on the island. The fuel was used in the Kodiak Star launch, one of KLC’s earliest missions in 2001.

“Hydrazene is a highly toxic and volatile chemical” Pam Miller, director of the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, said in a telephone interview.
“The greatest concern is transportation in and out of Kodiak. I feel that AADC isn’t being forthcoming with the community in how this is being handled,” Miller said.

Nash outlined plans to add a third launch pad and rocket storage facility that would make KLC the nation’s first rapid launch facility. The idea would be to store multiple rockets and payloads, so that a launch could be accomplished within 24 hours after notification.

There have been a total of 14 launches from KLC, and three more are planned between September and March of 2010.

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