Spaceport love from Virginia lawmakers

Speaking of spaceports... (and where on the map isn't this a hot topic?) take a look at the flurry of lawmaker activity in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The first-ever launch last month from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport grabbed the attention of the state legislature, big time.

The Virginian-Pilot reports, "Democrat and Republican lawmakers from every corner of Virginia filed legislation in the General Assembly this week pushing for studies on ways to expand the spaceport."

Lawyer Jack Kennedy of
Spaceports blog explains, "Fifteen of Virginia's 140 state legislators are now advancing four slightly differing versions of a study resolution 'to make the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport the premiere commercial hub for space travel in the United States.' The four legislative measures are now pending in the Rules Committees of the Virginia House and Senate...."

Jack notes that the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is working on a $500,000 study of the facility's "suitability for orbital rocket launches by COTS firms like SpaceX, Rocketplane-Kistler, and others in COTS-2."

more on those resolutions. And I've noted, Jack covers the action from the space-loving Commonwealth of Virginia on his second blog (with the long name), Mid- Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops Island, Virginia (and hopefully, 4th planet-watchers are not unduly confused if we call the Wallops Island spaceport "MARS" for short).

It's all good for Virginia. Homeboy Thomas Jefferson would be proud. (Speaking of Virginia insiders, just by way of example, Space Adventures is headquartered in Arlington, and its CEO Eric Anderson graduated from the University of Virginia; and I've read Anousheh Ansari graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax.)

Here, from spaceport wranglers at FAA/AST, is a map of federal, non-federal and proposed non-federal
spaceports. So far. (Meanwhile, here in my home state, we're jealous.)

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Image: Minotaur 1 launches TacSat-2 satellite from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, Dec. 16, 2006. (NASA photo)

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