Alaska’s rocket ranges

Rockets immediately bring Cape Canaveral, White Sands or Baikonur Cosmodrome into mind, but not Alaska. Even many Alaskans do not know that Alaska has two rocket ranges. One in Kodiak, and one at Poker Flat. The latter is even the only university-owned rocket launching facility. At Poker Flat, launches are made typically in winter on clear nights that allow seeing the dancing aurora. The rockets are aiming at the aurora to perform measurements therein.

Wondering why scientists are interested in the aurora? Various reasons. Planets with green aurora have oxygen, but foremost, communication. Interestingly, WWII and radiowave communication initiated the aurora research in Alaska.


Engineers have to launch rockets at double digit temperatures

If you have ever watched a space-shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral, you remember how busy engineers and personnel work to get the start going. Now imagine this scenario in the middle of Alaska, in the middle of the night in the middle of winter, at sub-zero temperatures. Everything you touch with bare hands, freezes to your hands. Thus, the engineers and personnel have to bundle up in down parkas and down pants. This scenario does not sound very practical. Does it?


Why is there a rocket launch range somewhere in the middle of nowhere?

To explore the aurora, this is the best place to launch the rocket. You see what you aim at, and the rocket stages will not harm anybody as the rockets go out north towards the Arctic Ocean covered by sea-ice.

Ok that explains Poker Flat. But, what about Kodiak? Kodiak is a commercial rocket launch facility. It is operated by the Alaska Aerospace Corporation for sub-orbital and orbital space launches. This site has also the advantage of vast ocean in the vicinity and permits desirable orbits because of its location far north.

Did you know that Alaska has two spaceports? #triva #Alaska Click To Tweet

Outfit 1

Today I have a Coco Chanel inspired with a twist work outfit. I am wearing multiple pearl necklaces on a black sleek top with a skirt and kitten heels. However, to give the look a modern twist I picked a leather skirt. I stayed with European neutrals, tan, black, pearl white and metal colors for an office appropriate look.

mature woman with A-line leather skirt styled for work
Anne Klein cable-knit sweater with Halogen tan A-line leather skirt, pearls and multi metal colored kitten heels for a fashion forward classic work outfit


Styling the outerwear

mature woman in Coco Chanel inspired outfit with modern twist
Burberry lodden motorcycle coat with LeatherCoatsEtc green beret, Steve Madden camouflage booties, and SAK green leather bag (all own)


Since temperatures are in the lower 30s (around 0oC) now here in the Interior of Alaska, I wore my lodden motorcycle coat, camouflage pony-hair booties, green beret, and hunter green leather bag for the commute to work. The bag is large enough to carry all the typical stuff that a women has in her purse plus the metallic kitten heels into which I switched at the office.

Do you switch from your booties to pumps at the office in winter? Do you keep your pumps at the office or carry them back and forth every day? Let me know, send me an email. I love to hear from you.

Outfit 2: Summer to fall transition

The following outfit shows how I transitioned my dress from summer to fall. I paired it with my tan T-strap pumps and new baseball leather jacket for a fresh classic with a twist look on a beautiful Indian summer day. When winter lasts about seven month, it is important to enjoy every day in fall on which is still warm and sunny outside.


midlife woman in posh chic sheath with baseball jacket
V-neck sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store with own Michael Kors baseball leather jacket, Anne Klein T-strap pumps and Burberry bag for a classic with a twist office look
posh chic mature woman with sheath and baseball leather jacket
V-neck sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store paired with my own Michael Kors baseball leather jacket, Anne Klein T-strap pumps and Burberry bag for transitioning a winter white summer dress to a sunny fall day


At the links, you can find another outfit with this sheath and tips how to create a working fall wardrobe.

How do you transition your favorite summer dresses to fall? Let me know, I am curious.

Get the inspiration, support, motivation, and tips to look to your best in life. Subscribe to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it you can do it too.

Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved