Virginia Space Unveils New Processing Facility - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Virginia Space Unveils New Processing Facility

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va-A new facility was unveiled today in Accomack County with the goal to attract more business and more launches to the shore.

Today, The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, or Virginia Space held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new payload processing facility.

Dale Nash, CEO and Executive Director of Virginia Space said, "A payload processing facility is to a spaceport, what an operating room is to a hospital," he said.

According to Nash, this new facility will be the site of a lot of critical procedures to prepare satellites and other payloads that would go up on a drone or rocket.

The facility will also help Virginia compete with Florida--California and Alaska that also conduct launches off of their coasts, which already have processing facilities similar to this one.

"Well, we have had payload processing here at Wallops, but we have to go to about 3 different locations, and this is more secure than the others and a lot of our satellites are national security missions, or highly sensitive ones," Nash said.

Virginia Space, is a partner with Wallops Flight Facility that owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport. They say this facility will make them more attractive to commercial, government, scientific and academic users who want to utilize their full-service launch and drone testing site.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a shore native was in attendance at today's ceremony, alongside other state leaders--another benefit, he says--more diverse jobs. 

"We have a lot of farmers on the Eastern Shore, we have a lot of individuals that are on the water, but we need to diversify," he said.

"To have Wallops here with the high tech jobs it's just a large contributor to our economy, so it's very exciting," he said. 

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