Warner, Kaine Applaud $96,000 in Funding to Support Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

WASHINGTON Mark Warner/Tim Kaine PR) – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $96,425 in federal funding from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the loading and unloading of barges and research vessels at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in Wallops Island. The grant was awarded through the Maritime Administration’s Marine Highway grant program.

“We are glad to see these federal dollars go towards helping equip MARS with the resources it needs to continue to carry out important operations and research,” said the Senators. “We have no doubt that with this funding, this facility will continue to help boost our nation’s competitiveness in aeronautics.”

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Udall, Kaine Introduce Resolution to Reinforce U.S. Leadership in Peaceful Use of Space & Technology Innovation

Tom Udall

WASHINGTON (Sens. Udall & Kaine PR) —Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution to maintain U.S. leadership in protecting satellites and spacecraft in Earth’s orbit from space debris and ensuring that all nations cooperate to promote the peaceful use of space for research and commercial purposes. The resolution prioritizes the implementation of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space guidelines negotiated between the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and 92 countries. 

“Peaceful and safe innovation in space is a foundation of today’s interconnected world—and necessary for our future security and prosperity,” Udall said. “From satellites that support our service members and send information to our smartphones at the speed of light, to scientific research that leads to breakthroughs back on earth, as well as a nascent tourist economy, outer space is both a strategic priority and an economic engine for communities around the world. Cooperative use of space is especially important in my home state of New Mexico – where our space economy is thriving. I introduced this resolution with Senator Kaine to maintain U.S. leadership in international space cooperation, prevent collisions which could make space too dangerous to use, and reinforce the United States’ position as a leader of a coalition of nations pushing the bounds of human discovery.”

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Senators To Trump Administration: Do Not Hurt Workforce By Cutting NASA Education Funding


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, are leading a group of 32 Senators in a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to support NASA’s Office of Education in the coming fiscal year. President Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) would eliminate NASA’s Office of Education, which works to inspire and educate students across the country to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  In Virginia, funding from NASA’s Office of Education enables students to explore careers in STEM-related fields at NASA Langley, NASA Wallops, and in Virginia’s robust technology sector.

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Wallops to Receive $20 Million in Federal Funding for Repairs

An aerial view of the Wallops Island launch facilities taken by the Wallops Incident Response Team Oct. 29 following the failed launch attempt of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket Oct. 28. (Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach)
An aerial view of the Wallops Island launch facilities taken by the Wallops Incident Response Team Oct. 29 following the failed launch attempt of Orbital Science Corp.’s Antares rocket Oct. 28. (Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mark Warner/Tim Kaine PR) – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced that the compromise spending legislation for fiscal year 2015 scheduled to be considered by both the House and Senate this week includes $20 million in funding for Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, a result of their efforts to secure additional funding to support repairs following a launch failure on October 28 that caused significant damage to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch pad.

“We are proud of our work with partners in the House and across the aisle to secure $20 million in federal funding that will help Wallops Island rebound from the launch failure this fall,” the Senators said. “The Wallops Flight Facility is a key asset to Virginia that will continue to play a major role in the future of NASA and space exploration. We especially want to thank Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Appropriations chair, who has been a key supporter and advocate of NASA and the Wallops facility.”

Warner and Kaine will release a detailed list of Virginia priorities in the compromise spending bill following final passage, which is expected by the end of the week.











License Plates, More Money for Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

Jack Kennedy has a couple of updates on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia over on his Spaceports blog. He reports that Gov. Tim Kaine may ask for $10 million in additional bonds from the state legislature in his annual budget request to speed up improvements to the Wallops Island facility.

The facility is being upgraded for Oribital Science Corporation’s new Taurus II rocket, which is designed to carry cargo to the International Space Station.

There also is an effort afoot to get the spaceport on special license plates. Supporters need a certain number of signature of their fellow Viriginians in order to get the license plate improved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Jack has information about how state residents can help with this effort.











Virginia General Assembly Approves Wallops Island Improvements

The Virginia General Assembly has approved the The 21st Century Capital Improvement Program, a bond program which among other things will provide funding for improvements to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. The commonwealth is trying to attract commercial space companies to the facility.

I’ve looked at the actual bill, but I wasn’t able to figure out how much money would be devoted to the project. I may have missed it, or this could be something that will be determined later. The plan – which enjoys bipartisan support – needs approval from the Virginia Senate before it can be sent to Gov. Tim Kaine for signature.