KODIAK — The U.S. Air Force has a new $48 million contract with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, but corporation CEO Craig Campbell said it’s not cause for celebration just yet.

“It doesn’t mean we’re getting that money,” Campbell said. “They will start giving us work assignments out of that $48 million.”

Work assignments don’t necessarily mean more rockets at the corporation’s Kodiak Launch Complex at Narrow Cape. They could involve renting mobile equipment from Alaska Aerospace, conducting studies for future launches in Kodiak, or carrying out launches.

“It could be a variety of things,” Campbell said.

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation was founded by the state to develop a high-tech aerospace industry in Alaska. It developed, owns and operates the Kodiak Launch Complex and has launched 14 rockets since 1998.

The contract announced Friday is the third under the “Spaceports” name. Under Spaceports 2, Alaska Aerospace conducted studies to determine if Kodiak could safely launch a Minotaur rocket, a missile based on the Minuteman missile used by the Air Force to deliver nuclear warheads.

Those studies concluded with the launch of a Minotaur IV on Nov. 20, 2010, and the expected launch of another Minotaur IV on Sept. 27 this year.

“It’ll cover whatever they want it to cover,” Campbell said, but, “They probably have an idea of what they want to do.”

The Alaska Aerospace board of directors is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Kodiak Launch Complex. The public is invited to attend.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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