NASA Extends Contract with Va. Space Flight Authority

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NASA is extending through Nov. 3 a deal with the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority to provide launch-site services at the Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., where the authority operates two state-owned launch pads used by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.

The indefinite-quantity, indefinite-delivery contract has a total value of about $43 million and was last extended in 2009. Without the six-month extension, the contract would have expired May 3, preventing NASA missions from using the pads, according to a procurement note the agency posted online April 17. The extension would not increase the contract’s maximum potential value, NASA said.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the contract, which calls for the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority “to provide launch service infrastructure to safely and successfully launch small/medium class orbital launch missions for NASA, other federal organizations, and NASA’s commercial partners.”

Orbital’s Antares medium-lift rocket launches resupply missions to the international space station from one of the state-owned pads. The other pad is used for the Minotaur rockets that Orbital assembles in part from excess missile motors and uses to launch small government satellites.