[Via Satellite 11-05-2015] Rocket Lab has reached a new agreement with Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) for range safety support of the company’s upcoming Electron launches in 2016. AAC is a state-owned corporation that owns and operates the Pacific Spaceport Complex, formerly known as the Kodiak Launch Complex.
“AAC brings a critical component to our launch program by providing essential range safety capabilities during our initial development phase. This will allow Rocket Lab to control launch costs and for us to invest in development of an autonomous-Flight Termination System (FTS) designed to provide a lower cost launch alternative for future commercial operations,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab CEO.
AAC will also provide support to Rocket Lab in the development of their range safety data package and work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation in securing Rocket Lab’s U.S. launch operators license.
“The ability to bring low cost launch operations to the commercial market will be a game-changer for the small satellite industry and AAC looks forward to this capability being available for both commercial and government customers at PSCA,” said Craig Campbell, AAC president and CEO.
Electron is a two-stage vertically integrated rocket designed to place a nominal payload of 150kg into a 500km sun-synchronous orbit. Rocket Lab intends to eventually launch Electron once a week, and, along with having several commercial customers, recently won a $6.95 million CubeSat launch contract from NASA.
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