Alaska Aerospace Corp. proposes launch facility on Hawaii’s Big Island

An Air Force Minotaur IV rocket is successfully propelled into Earth's atmosphere from the Pacific Spaceport Complex at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island.

An Air Force Minotaur IV rocket is successfully propelled into Earth’s atmosphere from the Pacific Spaceport Complex at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island, Sept. 27, 2011. (Public domain photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard)

A public meeting has been scheduled for the satellite launch facility proposed by the Alaska-owned aerospace corporation for a site on the east side of the Big Island.

The meeting Wednesday in Hilo is part of the ongoing environmental assessment process for the project by the Alaska Aerospace Corp, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported .

The corporation wants to build a facility in Hawaii to offer up to 24 commercial launches each year closer to the equator. It operates the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island.

The spaceport would use both liquid and solid fuel rockets, which could be up to 60 feet (18 meters) long.

The corporation wants to build on land owned by W.H. Shipman. The site would only be used for commercial purposes, according to the corporation.

Shipman has not yet decided if it will host the facility, said Peggy Farias, the company’s CEO. The corporation is eyeing a 13-acre site near Haena beach, southeast of Hilo.

The Hawaii Legislature in 2017 approved spending $250,000 on the environmental assessment, with matching funds from the corporation.

The Hawaii Office of Aerospace said $225,000 has been released for the project.

The corporation also looked into sites for the launch facility on Guam and nearby Saipan.

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