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Senate to Host Alaska Rocket and Space Summit in June

JUNEAU-The Alaska State Senate is proud to kick off a new era of development by hosting the Alaska Rocket and Space Summit on June 21, 2012 in Anchorage.   The event is geared towards exploring the expansion of the aerospace industry in Alaska and its economic impact on our state.

“We have been working closely with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation to assemble a wide range of experts and key players in aerospace planning and technology to help inform the Legislature of what is happening here and elsewhere, and what can be done to boost aerospace development in Alaska” said Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak.  “The aerospace industry brings millions of private dollars into Alaska’s economy and is critical to help diversify the state’s economy.”

In March, Lockheed Martin chose the Kodiak Launch Center (KLC) as its dedicated West Coast launch facility for Athena Rockets.   The decision is a prime example of how aerospace companies can capitalize on Alaska’s strategic location, excellent facilities, and skilled work force.    As a result of the decision, Lockheed Martin and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation will soon be seeking $100 million in commercial financing to finish construction of a medium lift facility. 

The KLC is the nation’s only high latitude full service spaceport.  It was designed specifically to provide optimal support for space launches to polar orbit, including circular and highly elliptical Molniya and Tundra orbits.  So far, more than 16 launches have taken place at the KLC.   The addition of the medium lift capability will continue to ensure a strong future in Alaska for global satellite launches.

The economic impact of the growing aerospace industry ripples across Alaska by providing the potential for new job development  such as supplier and logistics support, final assembly and light manufacturing, and the potential for growth in the engineering and scientific fields for Alaskans, in Alaska.

“This is an excellent example of the State working with the private sector to diversify the economy and generate new jobs,” said Senator Stevens.  “It’s the best of both worlds because it is using a small initial state investment to create a large-scale commercial development with primarily private funding  that will attract the global aerospace industry to Alaska.”

Several distinguished speakers are scheduled to give in-depth presentations including “The Florida Aerospace Enterprise & Experience” by Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello and “Successful Growth of Space Labs & Research at Utah State University” by Space Dynamics Laboratory Board Chairman Oren Phillips.

Several discussions are also on the summit agenda:

  • “Key Elements to Successful State/Industry Partnerships” -Representatives from Lockheed, Orbital, Boeing, and ATK (Alliant Techsystems)
  • “Aerospace Industry Enablers” - UAA Chancellor Tom Case, UAF Geophysical Institute Director Bob McCoy, and UAA Vice Provost Research and Graduate School Dean Helena Wisniewski
  • “Alaska Preparedness for Aerospace Development” – Leaders from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Kodiak Island Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, economic development corporations representing Kodiak, Kenai, Anchorage and Fairbanks as well the Alaska Railroad, Alaska Marine Lines (barges), Lynden Transport and several subcontractors.

To see the full agenda, click here.

For more information, call Tim Lamkin in Senator Stevens’ office at (907) 465-2705.

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