Virginia commercial space flight authority partnering with state manufacturers association

An announcement from the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (

VMA collaborates with Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority & NASA Langley Research Center Advancing Tomorrow’s Factory: Innovations from Aerospace

RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) & NASA Langley Research Center for the 2011 Virginia Industry Leadership Forum to be held December 8-9, 2011 at The Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia. The theme of the event will be Advancing Tomorrow’s Factory: Innovations from Aerospace and will look at how advanced technologies from the aerospace industry can improve the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing sector.

The headline speaker on December 9th will be David Thompson, Chairman & CEO of Orbital Sciences Corporation. Key topics that will be addressed through panel presentations will include automation technologies and robotics, heat exchange technologies, the commercial spaceflight industries of tomorrow, improving engineering and STEM-related educational achievement, and challenges and solutions for skilled trades training in the advanced technology workforce. The Forum will also include a pre-conference Executive Roundtable focusing on “Why in Invest in Virginia?”

Delegate John A. Cosgrove, Chairman of the Virginia Aerospace Advisory Council, remarked, “I am thrilled to see this exchange of ideas among related industries being made possible through events like this. It will be a great way to identify and advance opportunities of the Commonwealth’s business environment for these globally competitive industries, such as aerospace which contributes over $20 billion to Virginia’s economy.”

“All manufacturers can learn from the technology and techniques developed by NASA and our friends in the aerospace and commercial spaceflight industries. We are also excited about expanding the awareness in the Commonwealth of the remarkable achievements and tremendous future these industries hold for the Commonwealth,” stated Brett Vassey, VMA President & CEO.

“A prime NASA goal is to push technology developed for aerospace applications to the private sector so that what we do and learn will benefit humanity,” said Lesa Roe, director of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton. “Additionally our focus on STEM education to help prepare a future workforce is critical to both NASA and the VMA. The December conference will offer us an opportunity to collaborate with VMA and share with the larger community.”

“The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, MARS, is a new and vital economic development asset for the Commonwealth. Orbital Sciences Corporation’s selection of MARS to launch the new Taurus II rocket to re-supply the International Space Station has really put us on the map,” said Billie M. Reed, Executive Director of VCSFA. “The Virginia Industry Leadership Forum will help the broader manufacturing community in the Commonwealth understand the needs of the aerospace industry and our challenges. We could not be more pleased with this opportunity.”

For more details about this event, a draft agenda will be available on the VMA website calendar found at Attendee registration will open in March.

About Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) The Virginia Manufacturers Association develops and advocates for constructive public policies and supports a broad array of business services and programs to help ensure that Virginia manufacturing companies can be productive, profitable and competitive in Virginia. Virginia’s 5,000+ manufacturers employ over 200,000 individuals, contribute $34 billion to the gross state product, and account for over 80% of the state’s exports to the global economy. Visit for more information.

About Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) The VCSFA owns the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a commercial spaceport located on NASA Wallops Flight facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Authority offers customers full-service, fully instrumented airport. MARS has both Enterprise Zone and foreign Trade Zone Designation offering customers low-cost access to space and launch support services. MARS customers also may take advantage of Virginia’s Zero Gravity Zero Tax laws, sales tax exemptions and spaceflight liability and immunity laws. MARS provides the best alternative for those seeking responsive, cost effective, and reliable and mission capable access to space.


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