The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. Credit: Orbital ATK

Tucked away in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed Thursday night (Dec. 11) is $20 million for repairs at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

The spaceport suffered an estimated $100 million in damage when Orbital Sciences Corp’s Antares rocket failed 15 seconds after liftoff on what would have been the Orbital’s third paid cargo delivery to the international space station.


Includes significant additional funding for repairs to flight facility

Thursday, December 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced that the compromise spending legislation for fiscal year 2015 scheduled to be considered by both the House and Senate this week includes $20 million in funding for Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, a result of their efforts to secure additional funding to support repairs following a launch failure on October 28 that caused significant damage to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch pad.

“We are proud of our work with partners in the House and across the aisle to secure $20 million in federal funding that will help Wallops Island rebound from the launch failure this fall,” the Senators said. “The Wallops Flight Facility is a key asset to Virginia that will continue to play a major role in the future of NASA and space exploration. We especially want to thank Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Appropriations chair, who has been a key supporter and advocate of NASA and the Wallops facility.”

Warner and Kaine will release a detailed list of Virginia priorities in the compromise spending bill following final passage, which is expected by the end of the week.

The statement doesn’t say where the $ is added, but the line for NASA’s 21st Cen. Space Launch Complex program did get a $20M increase…

— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 12, 2014

…over the original request ($45.9M vs $$25.9M) with direction to include Wallops in the program, but not explicitly mentioning repairs.

— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 12, 2014