Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), owner and operator of FAA-licensed commercial spaceport, Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA), and Camden County, Georgia have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work cooperatively on establishing common operating environments for launch operators who wish to reach both orbits.
By working together, AAC and Camden County can better support launch vehicle operator needs and the emerging commercial space launch market, while strengthening both endeavors. PSCA, based in Kodiak, Alaska, is ideal for launching into polar and sun synchronous orbits, while Camden is ideal for lower inclination and equatorial orbits. PSCA and Spaceport Camden can work together to establish common operating environments that have common processes, protocols and procedures. This will create a seamless, smooth and cost-efficient operating environment for small launch operators.
AAC was established by the state of Alaska to develop a high technology aerospace industry in the state. AAC has 22 years of experience conducting launch operations of small and light-lift vertical launch vehicles from PSCA on Kodiak Island and has not accepted federal or state funds for operations and maintenance for the past five years. While having a similar business model to Camden County and Spaceport Camden, AAC offers vertical launch vehicles access to high-inclination and polar orbits from a responsive, flexible and low-cost spaceport. President and CEO Mark Lester joined AAC in 2018 and brings over 25 years of aerospace experience to the company with an emphasis on space operations in both government and private sector operations.
“The Kodiak spaceport provides Alaskans with career opportunities focused on the future. Collaborating with Georgia’s spaceport allows both states to accelerate economic growth and increase job opportunities for our residents in this growing market,” said Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer.
PSCA and Spaceport Camden will complement each other on orbital access and geographic diversity, while sharing a common market segment and business objectives. Once approved, Spaceport Camden will be uniquely positioned as the only low-inclination commercial vertical spaceport in the United States not co-located on a federal range. AAC-owned transportable launch support equipment and experience will help Spaceport Camden operate efficiently and accelerate operational readiness. This partnership will allow launch companies to more easily transport their licenses between the spaceports and will grant commercial customers access to both high and low-inclination orbits.
“The future of robust access space rests with multi-user FAA-licensed commercial spaceports. By working together, Camden County and AAC are best positioned to advance America’s commercial vertical launch capabilities,” said AAC President and CEO Mark Lester.
AAC and Camden County plan to create a cooperative and collaborative operating approach that creates efficiency and effectiveness for both launch sites. Both organizations plan to help maximize the benefits for their communities and states and to provide unmatched value to commercial launch customers. While collaborating on spaceport operations, the groups plan to explore advanced STEM opportunities and public-related interests. This partnership will promote the benefits of creating broader access to space for customers and will support an increase of diversity in spaceport users.
“For the first time in a generation, Americans are passionate about space exploration again. Georgia and Alaska are harnessing this enthusiasm to attract new talent, inspire STEM education and build a high-tech economy,” said Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan. “Camden’s partnership with Alaska Aerospace means that commercial space companies can reach any orbit from a commercial spaceport on American soil. That flexibility will drive innovation and job creation in both our states.”
Camden County officials, AAC executives and the PSCA team look forward to creating a fruitful partnership to make commercial launch sites for small launch vehicles a success.
“Alaska Aerospace is a leader in the commercial space industry. We look forward to learning from their expertise and utilizing key assets such as tracking technologies to accelerate the development of Spaceport Camden,” said Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard.