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Launch Complex Now Available For Civil, Commercial Launches

Launch Complex 36 sits along the Atlantic coast on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (AFNS) Oct 24, 2008
Officials with the Air Force and Space Florida made history during a dedication ceremony held here Oct. 22 when Space Launch Complex 36 officially was made available for operational use by the State of Florida, subject to completion of the environmental impact analysis.

Attending the historic ceremony were Florida Governor Charlie Crist; Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp; Space Florida President Steve Kohler; Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander; and Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander.

General Shelton said Air Force leaders supported the initiative because it will make it easier for commercial providers to launch from the U.S. Having domestic launch options provides the U.S. with solid foundation for national security.

"This is a great partnership that is mutually beneficial to both the Air Force and the state," he said. "We take great pride in helping foster the success of the commercial space sector; I'm confident the spirit of innovation and the cooperation that made this a reality will continue in the years ahead."

Governor Crist also had positive things to say about the agreement.

"Florida has always been home to big ideas. The entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the DNA of Florida's economy," the governor said. "And thanks to the Air Force's decision, the door is now open to innovation and space opportunities never seen before. In tough economic times, it is important we do not sit idly by, but that we invest in economic opportunities for the future.

"What a tremendous opportunity to ensure that space exploration is a top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader right here from Florida," he said.

According to Space Florida officials, the reconfiguration of Launch Complex 36 will strengthen not only the state's aerospace industry but other growing economic sectors such as biotechnology and environmentally friendly energy technology vital to Florida's future. The launch complex will support light- to medium-lift vehicles that go into low-Earth orbit and beyond.

Space Florida's president sees this ground-breaking ceremony as a great beginning, both literally and figuratively.

"The Air Force assignment of Launch Complex 36 is an important next step to extending access to space," said Steve Kohler, Space Florida president.

"We are now making that available to both defense and security initiatives," he said, "with multiple commercial payloads and launch activities for both civil and private space businesses that want to launch from Florida. This direction by the Air Force, together with the tremendous support by the state, opens the door to attracting, supporting and sustaining national and international aerospace business here in Florida."

This effort also is in line with the mission of the 45th SW, according to General Helms.

"Our primary mission here is to assure access to the high frontier," she said. "This proposal better enables us to execute that mission. It's the ultimate 'win-win' situation for both the Air Force and the State of Florida."

NASA opened Launch Complex 36 in 1961, and most recently it was used as a military and commercial Atlas launch site. Missions to the moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn launched from the site, as well as weather satellites and commercial satellites. The Air Force shut down the complex in 2004.

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Pratt And Whitney Rocketdyne Boosts Disaster Management Satellite
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 23, 2008
Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne will help Italy further its national defense and disaster prevention by boosting a radar satellite into space on Oct. 24. COSMO-SkyMed 3, a satellite with both civilian and military applications, will be onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket powered by a Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A engine.

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