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Mikulski Thrilled at Wallops Announcement

Press Release of Senator Mikulski

Mikulski Thrilled at Wallops Announcement

Monday, June 9, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, celebrated the announcement this afternoon that the Orbital Sciences Corporation has selected the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), located at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility, as its base of operations for the company's new Taurus II rocket. Orbital will invest approximately $45 million to assemble, test and launch the Taurus II space launch vehicle. The Wallops facility is a major employer for residents of the Eastern Shore, with approximately 35 percent of its NASA employees living in Maryland.

Since 2002, Chairwoman Mikulski has provided over $20 million to upgrade Wallops infrastructure ? from broadband service to launch-related infrastructure. She has also funded the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, under which Orbital is developing its Taurus II rocket.

The Chairwoman's statement is below:

?This is the biggest thing to hit the Eastern Shore since Captain John Smith?s anchor!

?Orbital?s selection of the Wallops Flight Facility is great news for Maryland?s Eastern Shore! If Orbital?s rocket is successful, Wallops could become a hub for cargo services to the International Space Station, bringing new jobs and economic development opportunities to the lower shore.

As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NASA, investing in Wallops has been one of my highest priorities, and I'm proud to say the investments have paid off. I will continue my track record of investing in Wallops, the only NASA-owned launch facility and a critical national asset.?