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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What a difference a day makes in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell backs Virginia commercial spaceport
After a rejection of the state budget Tuesday, the Virginia General Assembly did a U-turn adopting the two-year $85 billion dollar budget that includes millions of dollars for opeartions at the commercial Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island. It also includes language for a launch pad purchase and fueling improvements to the state can better market the the space launch facilities.

The state legislators also provided near unanimous support to a recommendation from Governor Bob McDonnell to increase the annual transfer from the Virginia Department of Transportation from $7.5 million to $9.5 million Wednesday. Gov. McDonnell has been steadfast in his support for growth of the commercial spaceport to a multi-user facility by commercial space launch firms.

The Virginia commercial spaceport has expanded to two operational launch pads, a payload processing facility, and a new liquid fueling system. The launch manifest for the launch pads include several missions lead by Orbital Sciences Corporation - including commercial launch cargo to the International Space Station, a civil space NASA LADEE lunar robotic exploration mission and a military space mission called ORS Enabler - each designed for orbit.

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