December 17, 2014

Kaine Visits Wallops Flight Facility, Meets With Chincoteague Business Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine began his three-day tour through Virginia with a visit to the Wallops Flight Facility to tour the damaged launch pad and meet with representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, NASA, Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, and Orbital Sciences. Kaine also met with first responders who were on call the night of the launch failure on October 28 and helped put out the fires caused by the explosion. Last week, Kaine and Senator Mark Warner announced that Wallops Flight Facility will receive $20 million in federal funding - a result of their efforts to secure additional funding to support repairs following the launch failure.

"Wallops Flight Facility is such a critical asset for Virginia that will continue to play a key role in the nation's great tradition of vigorous space exploration," said Kaine. "We worked very hard to get $20 million into the budget which will be valuable to Wallops as it makes repairs. It was helpful to see the damage firsthand today, but also see how remarkably well the infrastructure fared, partly thanks to good planning by NASA Wallops and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and partly to the swift response by our brave first responders that night. I was proud of our work to bring Orbital Sciences to Wallops as Governor and I am grateful that my work in the Senate, especially on the Budget Committee, allows me to continue supporting Wallops Flight Facility at the federal level."

Following the visit to Wallops Island, Kaine held a roundtable discussion in Chincoteague with members of the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, as well as area business and tourism leaders, to discuss issues impacting small businesses, as well as the important economic role that NASA Wallops plays on the Eastern Shore and the effect the Antares rocket failure has had on the local economy.

Tomorrow, Kaine will continue his three-day tour of the Commonwealth with stops on the Eastern Shore and in Hampton Roads.