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KODIAK (AP) — Alaska Aerospace has launched a subsidiary company that aims to save taxpayer money by reducing personnel costs, officials said.
The state-owned corporation announced last week the opening of the Anchorage-based Aurora Launch Services, which will be the exclusive service provider at the spaceport complex on Kodiak Island, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported .
The corporation has struggled to break even over the last seven years, receiving at least $16 million in operating funds from the state and $3 million for a capital improvement project.
The corporation had a small profit last year after two launches with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, a successful launch from California-based Rocket Lab and gaining other consulting work.
The new enterprise seeks to help the agency reduce its reliance on state funding by gaining control of personnel costs, Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell said. The agency currently has 22 full-time employees with 10 being full-time contractors.
Aurora Launch Services plans to use more part-time workers instead of full-time employees.
"I want to have well-compensated individuals, but take away a lot of the external costs," Campbell said. "Going to part-time will eliminate some of the full-time burden, and it will also reduce travel costs. There will be a small cadre of people that keep the facility operating."
Aurora will be led by John Cramer, the former chief of staff for the state corporation. Cramer will put together a team over the next few months.
"Providing streamlined, efficient launch services, based on customer defined requirements will enable Aurora Launch Services to tailor our team specifically to each customer's unique needs." Cramer said in a statement. "I look forward to this new horizon of aerospace development in Alaska."