Spaceport fills need, deserves contract - Kodiak Daily Mirror: Opinion

Spaceport fills need, deserves contract

Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:00 am

On Jan. 10, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., released his 2017 Wastebook Porkémon, which highlighted the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) and the recent contract with Missile Defense Agency as a waste of federal funding. It is my practice to not engage in public discourse with those who disregard facts to make allegations that serve little or no public benefit; however, as president and CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp., in this case it is imperative the facts be presented so the public may have accurate information from which to have educated discussions about the value PSCA provides to our state and nation in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, Sen. Flake’s report focuses on the spaceport’s development in the 1990s, including highlighting an illegal scheme where two Department of Defense employees pleaded guilty to collecting $1.6 million in payments for directing funds for various DOD projects, which included construction of the Kodiak launch site. Regardless of whether constructing the facility in the 1990’s was a “mistake” or not, and in no way justifying the illegal activities of a few DOD employees nearly 20 years ago, the federal government invested $151 million in PSCA, which resulted in the United States having a state-of-the-industry, truly commercial launch facility, not co-located on a federal range, offering tailored services to meet customer requirements with unique flexibility and schedule assurance.  

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