Space: December 26, 2000


The new Kodiak Launch Center is to open in Alaska early next year. It can launch up to 8,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. It has two features unique among spaceports. First, it has a much wider range of possible orbits available. Launching generally south over the Pacific, there are no inhabited areas that could be endangered by a failed launch. The Kodiak complex is intended for polar orbits (and highly elliptical orbits) which are often used by low-orbit communications, science, and spy satellites. With no population centers to watch out for, a range safety officer would have much longer to decide if a troubled launch could be saved. The second unique feature (making a virtue of necessity) is a huge service structure that will keep a booster and satellite protected from the weather until moments before launch. Other launch facilities must unveil their boosters hours or days before launch, running a risk of weather damage. All prelaunch preparations, assembly, checks, and service would be protected from the weather in a building 175 feet high fitted with a 50-ton bridge crane. The building is climate controlled, and air filters can produce a "clean" environment.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Space: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close