Same firm that launched ill-fated rocket in July
A rocket launch scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Narrow Cape Pacific Spaceport Complex is the second launch for the company whose rocket was destroyed in July. The launch window for the flight is between noon and 4:00.
Craig Campbell is the Chief Executive Officer for Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He said a non-disclosure agreement with the business that owns the rocket prevents releasing the company’s name, but it is a test flight.
“It’s a commercial launch, it’s not a government launch. It’s the second launch from the same company. This is the company that launched back in July. And it’s another test of their commercial vehicle to get ready to be a commercial company and launch commercial satellites.”
Campbell explained that the test launch is necessary in order for the rocket company to get certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. He says it is similar to what an airplane company must do before it is allowed to use a new plane.
“Before the plane can be certified to carry passengers it has to be tested. They have to fly it. Do all the stuff that an airplane does and then they say, ‘OK, now it’s safe to carry passengers.’
It’s the same with a rocket. You have to launch a rocket a number of times to demonstrate that the rocket motors work, the avionics work, that the telemetry works, all the components work right. So that’s what they are under right now the certification process.
Because ultimately the rocket will be certified by the FAA as a rocket capable of doing commercial launches for paying customers.”
As a reminder, the launch window for the flight is noon to 4 p.m. Friday with back-up dates running from Saturday to Tuesday.
Pasagshak Road and the Narrow Cape area will be closed during the launch window on Friday and on other days if launch day is pushed back.