Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office has released a report suggesting that Orbital Sciences Corp. should lose its voting position on the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island in order to “provide a level playing field for all customers,” the Daily Press reported Nov. 28.
State officials do not want to alienate Dulles, Va.-based Orbital, which chose Wallops as the base for its $1.9 billion NASA contract to ferry supplies to the international space station and is projected by year’s end to have created 125 jobs there that pay $100,000 or more.
But the report says competing aerospace companies, such as Space Exploration Technologies and Boeing, may be hesitant to invest in a facility where Orbital has such strong influence. The board could “avoid perceived conflict of interest concerns by potential customers” and thus attract new business if it removed Orbital’s representation, the report says.
Virginia Urged To Increase Its Spaceport Investment