KODIAK, Alaska — The cleanup of hazardous materials from a rocket explosion last year has been completed at the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska Aerospace Corp. officials said.
Damaged facilities are expected to be back in operation by the end of the year, the Kodiak Daily Mirror (http://is.gd/FaQDcG) reported.
A rocket carrying an experimental Army strike weapon exploded last August during launch, damaging buildings at the complex. No one was injured.
A review board determined that the failed Aug. 25 launch occurred after an external thermal protective cover interfered with the launch vehicles steering assembly.
Officials said the Defense Department paid about $5 million to lease the complex.
Officials said the damaged facilities are being prepared for repair work planned for spring and summer. The Aerospace Corp. said in a news release that most of the buildings were found to be structurally sound, "but some siding, structural steel, mechanical systems and electrical components needed to be replaced."
The state created the Alaska Aerospace Corp. in 1991 to develop an aerospace sector for Alaska's economy. The corporation owns and operates the launch complex.
In February, the president and CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp. said the corporation would like to become a private company. Craig Campbell told the state Senate Finance Committee he does not believe shutting down the corporation and the Kodiak complex would be a good decision.
Earlier, Gov. Bill Walker ordered a halt to new spending on the launch complex and several other large-scale projects to allow time to review how, or whether, the state should proceed with them. This came as a state has been grappling with projected multibillion-dollar deficits amid plunging oil prices.
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com
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