Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Endorse More Funding for Wallops Island

Artist's conception of OSC's Taurus II rocket at Wallops Island.
Artist's conception of OSC's Taurus II rocket at Wallops Island.

Jack Kennedy has a couple of posts about the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on his Spaceports blog:

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds endorsed increased operational funding to enhance the staff size of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport today speaking at the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council Energy Technology Summit as interest in the fledgling commercial space operations increases among the Virginia public.

Kennedy also notes that the Government Accountability Office has cleared an obstacle to commercial launches from the Wallops Island facility:

PlanetSpace, Inc. has lost its appeal to the General Accountability Office (GAO) of a $1.9 billion contract award to Orbital Sciences Corporation by NASA clearing the way for eight orbital flights to originate from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport beginning in 2011 to re-supply the International Space Station…

The NASA contract award to Orbital Sciences Corporation was made December 23, 2008 and was protested by PlanetSpace on January 14, 2009 and denied April 22, 2009.

Orbital, based in Reston, VA, is developing its Taurus II rocket and Cygnus spacecraft to resupply the space station. The vehicles are designed to help fill the gap left by the planned retirement of the space shuttle in 2010.