Alaska, Hawaii Team Up to Attract Space Tech Firms

When speaking of American spaceports and space launches, Florida gets all the good ink. Sure, NASA maintains a launch facility in Virginia as well (the Wallops Flight Facility, from which Orbital Sciences launched its Cygnus capsule last month), and there are a few other spaceports scattered about. Still, it's Florida that bears the moniker of the "Space Coast," featuring the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and Air Force Station, and NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

But Alaska and Hawaii mean to change that.

On Monday, the two states announced a plan to form a new space partnership between them, looking to exploit "increased opportunities to serve the Pacific Region," according to Alaska Aerospace Corporation President Craig Campbell.

Combining expertise gained at Alaska Aerospace's Kodiak Island spaceport complex with Hawaii's "world-class observatories," "strategic mid-Pacific/near-equatorial location," and self-described "Moon/Mars-like terrain," the two states believe they have the "strategic assets and capabilities" necessary "to realize humankind's full potential in space."

Hawaii's position near the equator might be of particular attraction to the kinds of space-launch companies the states aim to develop and attract. Land on the equator is spinning at a speed of 1,670 kilometers per hour, and because of the physics of Earth's rotation, that's more than 41% faster than land located halfway between the equator and one of the planet's poles. It's spinning significantly faster than land in Alaska, and even faster than Cape Canaveral -- and so it adds "free speed" that can help lift a rocket, launched from Hawaii, into orbit.

The partnership "will provide unique and timely opportunities to combine our substantial and complementary aerospace resources to expand the frontiers of both next-generation aviation and space exploration," said Jim Crisafulli, director of the Hawaii Office of Aerospace Development.

link


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2674676, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/23/2014 5:04:10 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement