Governor McAuliffe Announces Multi-Year Contract for Commercial Space Flight in Virginia

Wallops aerial.jpg Governor Terry McAuliffe along with U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced earlier in January that NASA awarded a new multiyear contract to Orbital ATK, a Virginia based company, to deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station from spaceports, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) located at Wallops Island.

The collaboration of Virginia and space exploration will allow NASA to continue an important contract that brings our state to the national forefront in the commercial space business. This will create jobs and strengthen Virginia’s new economy.

The next launch from MARS is scheduled in late May or June. Orbital ATK will return to flight using an upgraded Antares launch vehicle featuring new engines to send a payload to the International Space Station. Payloads may include supplies, materials for scientific experiments, equipment and other items that are used by the astronauts in the space station. The items support the space station, research and exploration.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) is collocated at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. Virginia Space, which owns and operates MARS for the commonwealth, partners with NASA to provide access to launch facilities and services. Virginia Space owns and operates the launch pads while NASA provides payload processing, integration facilities, range support, and telemetry services.