A privately owned rocket built in partnership with NASA to haul cargo to the International Space Station blasted off on Sunday for a debut test flight from a new commercial spaceport in Virginia…. Orbital Sciences and privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, hold NASA contracts worth a combined $3.5 billion to fly cargo to the space station, a $100 billion research outpost that flies about 250 miles above Earth. NASA turned to commercial suppliers after retiring the space shuttles in 2011….
Virginia Takes Steps in Space Privatization With ‘Spaceport’ Partnership
Source: Bary Alyssa Johnson, Latinos Post, September 18, 2012
Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that the Virginia Commonwealth Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation have reached a new level of agreement in terms of their allocation of assets as well as working relationship at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS). As part of an agreement inked in 2008, Orbital and the VCSFA partnered so that Orbital could develop improvements to the liquid-fuel-capable launch facility at MARS to assist in launches of Orbital’s Antares rocket….
…Among the terms of the new agreement announced Monday, Orbital and the VCSFA have come to the following agreements: Orbital will launch ten Antares missions from MARS, including one test flight, one demonstration flight and eight resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). In order to support the Antares missions and bring in potential future customers, the Commonwealth will bankroll the improvements at MARS. The VCFSA will own and operate non-Antares-specific assets that can be used by future customers…
Space Industry Growing In Virginia
Source: Sabri Ben-Achour, WAMU, September 22, 2011
The Mid-Atlantic region isn’t widely known for its space industry, but that may soon change. With the end of NASA’s shuttle program, a new age for space flight has opened up opportunities for area companies. “Most people think of this area as being dominated by the government, and here we are building spacecraft just outside the beltway,” says Keith Davies, a vehicle manager for Orbital Sciences…
NASA, the military, and the intelligence services are all using the private space sector. That’s brought several hundred jobs to Virginia already. But for this region’s space industry to take off, it will also have to attract the very nascent commercial crew business — space tourism.