Virginia’s Spaceport Needs More Money, Report Says

by

A newly released report on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops Island, Va., concluded that increased state funding will be necessary to keep the operation afloat.

“Continued operations of the [Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority] and Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are contingent upon increased annual financial support from the Commonwealth,” the report says in the first of several recommendations.

Prepared by the Herndon, Va.-based Center for Innovative Technology and completed in August, the report also stresses the importance of the state‘s relationship with Orbital Sciences Corp., the Dulles, Va.-based company poised to become the spaceport’s primary user.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, the report says, “should place its highest level of effort on the satisfaction of the Orbital launch relationship and place secondary effort on pursuing new clients until the new facility has been determined to have satisfied its original purpose.”

The report was released on the heels of one released by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office that urged the state to limit Orbital’s influence so as to attract other customers to MARS.