Mikulski Puts $10 Million in Budget for Wallops Upgrades

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Sen. Barbara Mikulski

WASHINGTON (Sen. Mikulski PR) – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 CJS spending bill provides $10 million for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Wallops Island Flight Facility’s 21st Century Launch Complex.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

“As the nation’s only NASA-owned launch site, the Wallops Island Flight Facility is a centerpiece of our space and science infrastructure,” Senator Mikulski said. “In Maryland, science is jobs. Scientific innovation creates jobs and economic growth through innovative products and new businesses. At Space Port Wallops, we see a close partnership between federal and state agencies along with the private sector working together to create jobs today and jobs tomorrow.”

Senator Mikulski is a long-time champion of the Wallops Island Flight Facility and for investments in science, technology, research and education that lead to American innovation and American jobs. Senator Mikulski has provided money to upgrade Wallops to make sure the facility remains first class and attracts new launch business. The $10 million provided in FY17 is $3 million more than that provided for Wallops in FY16.

More than $150 million has been appropriated since 2009 for infrastructure improvements at Wallops for NASA’s new generation of rockets, including a new launch pad, liquid fueling facility, horizontal integration facility, launch command center, launch facility protection and shoreline repairs after Superstorm Sandy. Senator Mikulski has also helped provide a total of $7 million since 2006 to bring broadband to the Eastern Shore by linking Wallops with the Patuxent Naval Air Station.

The Wallops Island Flight Facility supports 1,525 high-tech jobs on the Eastern Shore. Work on the Antares rocket at Wallops brings $250 million in economic development in the form of new goods, services and contracts for small businesses.

The FY17 CJS spending bill also fully funds Wallops’ operating budget, as well as the Commercial Cargo Launch program, which will continue to use Wallops as a launch facility.