LOS ANGELES -- Alaska this month joined the commercial space race after Gov. Walter J. Hickel signed legislation creating a public spaceport authority that includes the power to issue bonds.

The new law establishes the Alaska Aerospace Development Corp., which was created to help the state serve as a base for the exploration and development of space. The Spaceport Florida Authority has been in the forefront of such efforts and was the nation's first to be given explicit power to sell municipal bonds for spaceflight.

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