Aerospace is the economic engine that can propel Virginia’s economy to new levels.

NASA leaders from Langley Research Center in Hampton and Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore will join aerospace industry representatives statewide to bring this message to Virginia General Assembly members on AeroSpace Days 2010, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 3-4, in Richmond.

Aerospace is a $5.4 billion industry that stimulates innovation and creates high-tech jobs. Virginia has more than 350 aerospace company locations and employs over 26,000 people, generating a direct economic output of $5.6 billion. NASA facilities in Virginia generate over a billion dollars and more than 10,000 jobs. Additionally, NASA revenues translate into approximately $64 million in federal taxes and almost $14 million in state and local taxes.

Reporters are invited to attend a news conference featuring NASA Langley Center Director Lesa Roe and Virginia Department of Aviation Director Randy Burdette Thursday, Feb. 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the General Assembly, 4 West Conference Room, 9th and Broad Streets, Richmond.

Astronaut Susan Kilrain, shuttle pilot who has logged over 470 hours in space, will be on hand to discuss NASA’s long-term exploration goals.

Throughout the morning, Langley education experts will demonstrate NASA’s Digital Learning Network (DLN), an electronic education capability that links students and teachers with NASA experts across the nation. In addition, General Assembly members will meet with students in their home districts via the DLN.

Finally reporters are invited to attend the legislative session at noon where Virginia’s aerospace community will be recognized.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: