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 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.
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KMXT 2015 Bear Crawl Results
 bear_logo.jpg What a day we had at the Bear Crawl. Thanks to all of our sponsors and the volunteers who helped pull this event together. Congratulations to all of the contestants - you were brave, you were fast, you were muddy! You can find all the results here: 2015_bear_crawl_results_corrected
 
Dec 15 2014
Trailblazer Crewman Medevac'd After Hand Injury
Monday, 15 December 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The Coast Guard medevac'd a 23-year-old man with an injured hand from the 120-foot fishing vessel Trailblazer late last week, approximately 75 miles north of Cold Bay.
    A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed in Cold Bay safely hoisted the man and transported him to Anna Livingston Memorial Clinic in Cold Bay for further medical assistance.
    Coast Guard 17th District command center watch-standers received the call for assistance from the operator of the Trailblazer that a deckhand had crushed his hand in a crab pot launcher and needed immediate medical attention. The duty flight surgeon conferred with contacts at the clinic and recommended a medevac. The watch-standers then dispatched the Jayhawk helicopter crew to the scene.
    Petty Officer 1st Class Francell Abbott, watch-stander on duty at the time, said having helicopters at forward operating locations like Cold Bay during the busy fishing seasons is beneficial in times of distress.” 
    Weather on scene was reportedly reasonably mild, with17-mph winds, 10 miles visibility and a temperature of 37 degrees. 
 
Dec 15 2014
AAC Announces New Deal with Lockheed Martin
Monday, 15 December 2014
1.21 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
athena-ii-s6-illustration.jpg
An artist rendering of how the Athena II-S6 would appear on Launch Pad 1 at the Kodiak Launch Complex. Image provided
 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The big announcement from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation Friday afternoon did involve the future launching of larger rockets from Narrow Cape, but not rockets 10-times the size of the ones Kodiak Launch Complex is currently capable of. In fact, they won't even be twice as big. Lockheed Martin's Al Simpson:
    “Close to 185 percent over. It's a... One way to describe it in our industry is we describe it as delta-2 class lift capability. One of the things you'll notice in the marketplace right now is there's not a lot of that capability flying off the west coast,” Simpson said. “So having that replacement for a delta-2 capability that's out of production – there's only a few left that fly -  we see that as a real niche area for us as we go forward.”
    The Athena II-S6 will have a payload capability of 3,300 kilograms, or about three-and-a-half tons. Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell says advancements in rocket science have driven up the payload of smaller launch vehicles.
    “They were able to put the lift capability on a smaller rocket and changing the sizing of the fairing to make for a heavier payload on a shorter, smaller rocket that actually fit into LP-1 – with some modifications,” Campbell said. “So the big difference here is we've now able to bring medium-lift capability to Alaska without a $150-million infrastructure investment.”
    That $150-million investment Campbell referred to stems from the 2012 deal with Lockheed Martin, that is different than Friday's deal with Lockheed Martin. That one would require a third launch pad at Narrow Cape to accommodate much larger rockets – the ones up to 10-times as large. That's still in the works, but on the back burner as the FAA completes an environmental assessment and grant funds are found to build a dock in Pasagshak Bay to ship in the rocket stages.
    Campbell sold the modifications to launch pad one as a win for the environment.
    “By staying just to LP1, we don't have to do disturbance to the land on the west side of the road by building a new launch pad and have two out there,” he said. “We;ll actually be able to increase our market-share, do more activity  at a lower cost and without disrupting the environment as much.”
    Launch pad 1 was heavily damaged in the August explosion of an Army rocket. Repairs to it and surrounding structures will cost about $9-million. The exact details of the deal with Lockheed Martin will be worked out in the coming weeks. 
 
Dec 12 2014
KLC Rockets Could Soon be 10-Times Larger
Friday, 12 December 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Even as plans to rebuild the Kodiak Launch Complex after the catastrophic failure of an Army rocket remain up in the air, Narrow Cape could soon see launch vehicles 10 times larger than the one that exploded in August.
    Alaska Aerospace Corp. officials are expected to announce an expansion of the Kodiak Launch Complex this (Friday) afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Anchorage.
    The winner of competing proposals to build a significantly larger launch pad to send medium-lift rockets into space will be revealed by AAC CEO Craig Campbell and Vice President Matt Steele.
    To date, the Alaska Aerospace Corporation has been limited to sounding rockets, only capable of sub-orbital flight, and small-lift rockets, capable of lifting only as much as 4,400 pounds of payload into low earth orbit. A medium-lift rocket, according to NASA's classification guidelines, can launch a payload of 44,100 pounds, or 22-tons, into orbit.
    In 2012, before the the precipitous drop in oil prices and subsequent revenue, the State of Alaska appropriated $25-million to expand the KLC to accommodate the much larger rockets.
    The project was shelved last January when the corporation didn't receive a federal grant it needed to build a dock in Pasagshak, which would be needed to transport rockets by barge from Kodiak. Officials also said at the time that they didn't want to expand until a launch was contracted and scheduled.
    We'll have more information online later this afternoon and over the weekend, as well as full coverage on the Monday morning KMXT news. 
 
Dec 12 2014
City Goes with Experience as Variables Mount in Juneau
Friday, 12 December 2014
1.12 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    As we've been hearing all week as oil prices dip below $60 per barrel and the state's projected budget deficit climbs into the billions, times will be tough for budgeting in the state capital when the legislature convenes next month.
    But last night, the city council voted to help insure Kodiak gets its fair share of the pie. By an unanimous vote, the council retained the services of Ray Gillespie, who has lobbied the state legislature for the city the past three years.
    Councilman Rich Walker gave Gillespie his hearty endorsement.
    “Last few years going down to the capital city during session and lobbying for our projects, Ray has been great to work with. Ray has been just great to work with. I mean just anything you ask him to do. He's out there, he's got a lot of good advice. He knows Kodiak and he knows our issues. And even outside of going down lobbying for the money, he's there to help in a lot of different ways. I really got to know him down there, and man, he's a professional. He knows everybody in Juneau. We're very well represented with him.”
    Veteran Councilman Charlie Davidson said with so many variables in flux this year, having a familiar face keeping an eye on the city's interests is comforting.
    “Especially this year when you have a new representative and you have a very very tight budget. We need all the representation we can find to help us out this year because things are looking real scary when you see the price of oil fall lower and lower.”
    Given the vote was unanimous, other councilmen, such as Terry Haines also had good things to say about Gillespie.
    “You know we're just very lucky to have Mr. Gillespie in this capacity. He's plugged in, enthusiastic and he just seems really enjoy what he's doing. He really seems to have an enthusiasm for what he's doing. At this time Kodiak is really lucky to have somebody of Mr. Gillespie's caliber at this time when we're going into the budget realities that we are.”
    Gillespie's contract has increase some since last year. For the 2015 legislative session, Kodiak will pay him $48,735 plus expenses. The legislature gavels in on January 20th. 
 
Dec 11 2014
10th Anniversary of Selendang Ayu was Monday
Thursday, 11 December 2014
4.4 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
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Selendang Ayu after breaking in half off Unalaska Island—stern section in foreground, bow section in background. (NTSB photo taken December 9, 2004, day after accident.) 
 
Annie Ropeik/KUCB 
    This week marks 10 years since the 738-foot bulk carrier Selendang Ayu ran aground on Unalaska Island. The vessel lost power and broke in half against the shore, spilling oil and its 66,000 ton soybean cargo, and leaving six crew members dead. It was the biggest shipping disaster in the Aleutians’ recent history - and as KUCB's Annie Ropeik reports, its impacts are still evolving today.  
 
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