Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kodiak



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Kodiak
Credit: © Mark Wade
In January 1998, the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation began building a commercial spaceport at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island, about 400 km south of Anchorage and 40 km southwest of the City of Kodiak. Kodiak Island was advertised as one of the best locations in the world for polar launch operations, providing a wide launch azimuth and unobstructed downrange flight path.

The Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) was designed by BRPH Architects - Engineers Inc. of Melbourne, FL. It provided all-weather, in-door processing adaptable to all small rocket launch vehicles. The Kodiak Launch Complex was the only commercial launch range in the United States not co-located with a federal facility. The launch pad could accommodate Castor 120 size vehicles and smaller . The launch pad flame trench was rated up to 500 metric tons thrust. The pad built for all-solid vehicles but plumbed for possible liquid fueled vehicles.

The active portion of the facility was Kodiak Launch Complex covered 11 hectares, divided among four sites: the Launch Control and Management Center (LCC), the Payload Processing Facility (PPF), the Integration and Processing Facility (IPF)/Spacecraft Assemblies Transfer Facility (SCAT), and the Launch Pad and Service Structure (LP1).

KLC's location combined with low-cost operations were promoted for launching telecommunications, remote sensing, and space science payloads of up to 3500 kg into low earth polar and Molniya orbits. Through an agreement with the State Division of Land, AADC was granted a thirty year lease of 1200 hectares at Narrow Cape with an option for a second thirty year term. On November 5, 1998, the USAF conducted the launch of the ait (atmospheric interceptor technology) suborbital rocket, marking the first launch from KLC. The first orbital launch of an Athena-1 came on September 30, 2001.

In 2005 AADC purchased two Mobile Telemetry Systems to augment the primary range safety system. A second suborbital launch pad, motor storage facility and improved fiber-optic connectivity to the continental US were planned. Paving of improved roads was scheduled for completion in 2007.

Kodiak Island had approximately 15,000 residents, with roughly half living within the City of Kodiak. A broad range of skilled services was available on the island. Resident companies included a sophisticated local telephone exchange, an island-wide electrical utility, a cable television company, several grocery store chains, a highly skilled construction workforce and other skilled technicians.

The weather on Kodiak Island was similar to that of the northwest region of the U.S. with an average rainfall comparable to Cape Canaveral in Florida. Because of warm Japanese currents, the climate of Kodiak Island is more moderate than its northern latitude would otherwise dictate. Kodiak had a yearly mean temperature of 4 deg C, and in only three months of the year did the normal temperatures fall below 0 deg C. Visibility and prevailing winds compare favorably with those at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Kodiak was one of the busiest fishing ports in the U.S., and developed a sophisticated infrastructure to support that industry. The island had three commercial dock facilities. In addition to barge service, the dock facilities could safely handle 30 metric ton containers, lift off up to 70 metric tons and process roll-on/roll-off vehicles. Kodiak had a state-operated regional airport with daily passenger and cargo jet service and had accommodated C-141 and C-5 military transports. Kodiak Island was home to the largest Coast Guard support center in the U.S. and had a full complement of ocean patrol vessels. The Coast Guard Air Station operated several HC-130 aircraft and HH-60 and HH-65 helicopters.

Location: Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, Alaska.
Longitude: -152.3393 deg.
Latitude: 57.4353 deg.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Oscar International series of amateur radio communications satellites. Operational, first launch 1961.12.12. Launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...
  • MicroSat-70 British technology satellite. 14 launches, 1981.10.06 (Oscar 9) to 2002.11.28 (Picosat). Basic Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • Starshine American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1999.05.27 (Starshine) and 2001.09.30 (Starshine 3). The small Starshine satellite, built by NRL, was to be observed by students as part of an educational exercise. More...
  • Sapphire American technology satellite. One launch, 2001.09.30. SAPPHIRE (a US DoD-funded microsatellite) was built by Stanford University students and carried experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital camera. More...

See also
  • Athena Privately funded family of solid propellant satellite launch vehicles. Originally known as LMLV (Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle); LLV (Lockheed Launch Vehicle). Sales did not develop as hoped by the company after the MEO-satellite bubble burst in the 1990's. More...
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...
  • Polaris Probably the most technically innovative program in history, Polaris integrated solid-propellant, inertially-guided intermediate range ballistic missiles with nuclear submarines that could remain submerged for months at a time. All of these were new technologies, but the first ship was underway only three years after go-ahead. More...
  • ait The ait vehicles were developed to support the USAF Airborne Intercept Technology program. They consisted of a Minuteman SR19AJ1 first stage (the basic ait version) or Thiokol Castor IVB first stage (designated ait-2), and a Minuteman II M57A1 second stage. A front-end module housed the payloads, the control system, GPS, and inertial guidance electronics. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Aries American target missile. Space Vector Corporation developed and flew the Aries test vehicle (based on the Minuteman 1 second stage) for Strategic Defence Initiative payloads. More...
  • STARS American test vehicle. Three stage target vehicle for anti-ballistic missile tests, consisting of a surplus Polaris A3 SLBM (A3P first stage + X-260 second stage) and an Orbus 1 third stage. More...
  • Athena-1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Basic version of the Athena with a Castor 120 first stage, Orbus second stage, and OAM Orbital Adjustment Module. More...
  • ait American target missile. The ait vehicles were developed to support the USAF Airborne Intercept Technology program. They consisted of a Minuteman SR19AJ1 first stage (the basic ait version) or Thiokol Castor IVB first stage (designated ait-2), and a Minuteman II M57A1 second stage. A front-end module housed the payloads, the control system, GPS, and inertial guidance electronics. More...
  • ait-2 American target missile. Version with a Thiokol Castor IVB first stage, and a Minuteman II M57A1 second stage. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Official Site of the Topic, Information obtained from the manufacturer or operator's official web site.

Kodiak Chronology


1998 November 6 - . 01:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: ait. Launch Vehicle: ait.
  • ait-1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; OSC. Apogee: 715 km (444 mi).

1999 September 15 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: ait. Launch Vehicle: ait-2. LV Configuration: Castor-M57A1 ait-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SM. Apogee: 1,060 km (650 mi).

2001 March 19 - . Launch Site: Kodiak. Launch Vehicle: Aries. LV Configuration: Aries QRLV-1.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SM. Apogee: 163 km (101 mi).

2001 September 30 - . 02:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: Athena-1 LM-001.
  • Starshine 3 - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: Starshine. Decay Date: 2003-01-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 26929 . COSPAR: 2001-043A. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi). Perigee: 472 km (293 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Possibly last Athena flight. Launch delayed from September 1, 18, 22, 23, 25, 28. This was the first orbital launch from Alaska's Kodiak Island launch site (Foul weather and auroral conditions had delayed the launch many times) . The Lockheed Martin Athena-1's Orbit Adjust Module's (OAM) four MR-107 hydrazine engines fired for 12 minutes to put the payloads in a 237 x 815 km transfer orbit. After a coast to apogee above East Africa, a second burn at 0337 GMT circularized the orbit. USAF Space Test Program satellites Picosat, Sapphire and PCSat were deployed into an 790 x 800 km x 67 deg orbit between 0344 and 0352 GMT; the OAM then made a perigee lowering burn to a 470 x 800 km orbit. Another burn half an orbit later put OAM in a 467 x 474 km orbit, from wish Starshine 3 was deployed. Finally, the OAM made a perigee-lowering depletion burn which left in a 215 x 403 km x 67.2 deg orbit from which would reenter in a few months.

    Starshine-3 was a 90 kg, 0.9 m geodetic sphere that was to be observed by students. The NASA satellite was basically a passive light-reflecting sphere, consisting of 1,500 student-built mirrors (polished by kindergarten and grade school students from many countries) and 31 laser "retroreflectors". A few solar cells provide enough power to send a beacon at 145.825 MHz every minute. Ham operators around the world were expected to obtain signal strengths from which the decay (due to magnetic torque) of its spin rate could be determined. The project was managed by NASA GSFC and Starshine was built by the Naval Research Laboratory.

  • PCSat - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 26931 . COSPAR: 2001-043C. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi). Perigee: 789 km (490 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. PCSat (Prototype Communications SATellite) was to act as a relay for UHF/VHF amateur radio transmissions. It was built by the midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. It was to augment the existing worldwide Amateur Radio Automatic Position Reporting System; mass was around 10 kg.
  • Sapphire - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Lockheed. Manufacturer: Stanford. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Sapphire. USAF Sat Cat: 26932 . COSPAR: 2001-043D. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi). Perigee: 790 km (490 mi). Inclination: 67.1000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Summary: SAPPHIRE (a US DoD-funded microsatellite) was built by Stanford University students and carried experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital camera. The satellite was about 0.5m in size and had a mass of 16 kg..
  • Picosat - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Surrey. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: MicroSat-70. USAF Sat Cat: 26930 . COSPAR: 2001-043B. Apogee: 795 km (493 mi). Perigee: 788 km (489 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. STP P97-1 Picosat was built by Surrey Satellite for the USAF using a Uosat-type bus. The 68 kg satellite was to test electronic components/systems in space conditions. It carried four test payloads: Polymer Battery Experiment (PBEX), Ionospheric Occultation Experiment (IOX), Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomagraphy (CERTO) and an ultra-quiet platform (OPPEX). Called Picosat 9 by some Agencies although not related to other satellites in that series.

2001 November 9 - . 18:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-4 WCRRF. FAILURE: Failure.
  • BMDO Radar Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

2002 April 24 - . Launch Site: Kodiak. Launch Vehicle: Aries. LV Configuration: Aries QRLV-2.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SM. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

2004 December 15 - . 04:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-5.
  • IFT-13c Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Target for ballistic missile defence intercept test. Launch successful, but anti-ballistic missile that was to intercept it never left silo. Impacted in Pacific Ocean. Delayed from January, August, November, December 9 and 12.

2005 February 14 - . 06:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-6.
  • IFT-14 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2006 February 23 - . 16:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-7 FT04-1.
  • GMD FT04-1 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2006 September 1 - . 17:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-8.
  • GMD FTG-02 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2007 May 25 - . 14:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS. LV Configuration: STARS M-9. FAILURE: Failure.
  • GMD FTG-03 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

2007 September 28 - . 20:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: STARS.
  • GMD FTG-03a Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SMDC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2008 December 5 - . 20:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: STARS.
  • MDA FTG-05 Target - . Nation: USA. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system target.

2010 November 20 - . 01:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4.
  • USA 217 - . Payload: STPSat-2 SIV. Mass: 135 kg (297 lb). Nation: USA. Manufacturer: AeroAstro. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: STPSat. USAF Sat Cat: 37222 . COSPAR: 2010-062A. Summary: Technology experiments. Lead satellite of USAF Space Test Program mission S26..
  • USA 218 - . Payload: RAX. Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 37223 . COSPAR: 2010-062B. Summary: Radio Aurora Explorer, a National Science Foundation 3U cubesat, built by the University of Michigan, to study the aurora by picking up ground-based radar signals..
  • USA 219 - . Payload: O/OREOS. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 37224 . COSPAR: 2010-062C. Summary: 3U cubesat by NASA-Ames with life science experiments to study microbes in free fall and the effects of ultraviolet light on organic materials..
  • USA 220 - . Payload: Fastsat-HSV. Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37225 . COSPAR: 2010-062D. Summary: Developed by NASA-Marshall and subcontractors in Huntsville; carried ionospheric and atmospheric experiments, a USAF experiment, and the Nanosail-D2 solar sail..
  • USA 221 - . Payload: Falconsat-5. Mass: 161 kg (354 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37226 . COSPAR: 2010-062E. Summary: US Air Force Academy satellite with experiments to study plasma and the ionosphere..
  • USA 222 - . Payload: Fastrac 1. Mass: 30 kg (66 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37227 . COSPAR: 2010-062F. Summary: Developed by University of Texas at Austin with USAF fuding for formation flying experiments..
  • Ballast A - . Payload: S26 Ballast A. Nation: USA. USAF Sat Cat: 37230 . COSPAR: 2010-062J.
  • Ballast B - . Payload: S26 Ballast B. Nation: USA. USAF Sat Cat: 37231 . COSPAR: 2010-062K.

2011 September 27 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4. LV Configuration: Minotaur 4+.
  • Tacsat 4 - . Nation: USA. Program: Tacsat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Tacsat ORS. USAF Sat Cat: 37818 . COSPAR: 2011-052A. Apogee: 12,010 km (7,460 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 63.6000 deg. Period: 238.90 min. Naval Research Laboratory UHF communications satellite, equipped with a 3.7-meter-diameter communications antenna to support military handheld satellite telephones. Launch used an uprated Minotaur IV with an ATK Star 48V motor replacing the Orion 38 upper stage.

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