Kodiak Daily Mirror - Rocket meet planned
Rocket meet planned
by Nicole Klauss/Mirror Writer
Jun 18, 2012 | 69 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sen. Gary Stevens will host the Alaska Rocket and Space Summit in Anchorage on Thursday to explore the state’s opportunities in the aerospace industry.

During the summit, there will be several panel and roundtable discussions about partnerships, aerospace industry enablers and Alaska preparedness for aerospace development.

“I’ve invited lots of people to testify so we can learn more about what needs to be done and what we should be doing to encourage the development of this bigger industry,” Stevens said.

Some of the opportunities include using Kodiak’s working population and training people to take over the aerospace positions at the Kodiak Launch Complex.

“It seems to me there are a lot of opportunities in education at the university and Kodiak College to train folks to take the jobs that will become available in Kodiak,” Stevens said. “We can help businesses like welding shops that need to get certified to do the type of work needed to support the rocket industry.”

Stevens hopes the state will identify the type of funding needed to educate students to support the industry as it develops in Kodiak.

The Kodiak Launch Complex was designated as the West Coast Launch facility for Lockheed Martin’s Athena Rockets in March.

Gov. Sean Parnell was closely involved in Lockheed Martin negotiations, and the state is contributing $25 million for expansion at the Kodiak facility. Lockheed Martin is expected to contribute $100 million.

The contract was a step forward for Kodiak’s Launch Complex, which has required a state subsidy to continue operations.

Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby will fly to Anchorage for the summit. He will talk to the panels about how Kodiak’s local economy has been affected by the Kodiak Launch Complex.

“We’ll talk about the impact on Kodiak from launches for benefits of other folks attending the conference,” Selby said.

Also at the event Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello will give a presentation on “The Florida Aerospace Enterprise and Experience,” and Space Dynamics Laboratory Chairman Oren Phillips will give one titled “Successful Growth of Space Labs and Research at Utah State University.”

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiak

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