Virginia Spaceport May Gain Funding in Congressional Continuing Resolution

The 1st stage of the Taurus-2 booster arrived on Wallops Island, Va. this week from Ukraine where it will begin to stack stages with the Italian-made Cygnus payload spacecraft within weeks.

Space News is reporting that the US House of Representatives Continuing Resolution directs money be applied at other NASA flight facilities “currently scheduled to launch cargo” to the space station, possibly a reference to NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences Corp. is building a launch site for its Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus cargo vessel under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program scheduled to take flight by mid-2011.

In addition, Orbital Sciences and fellow COTS provider Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, Calif., would share some portion of a $300 million augmentation NASA requested for the program, representing a 62 percent increase to the 4-year-old commercial cargo initiative. And like the Senate appropriations measure, the draft resolution would provide $250 million for the president’s commercial crew program, just half of the $500 million Obama requested and some $50 million less than the authorization measure recommended.


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