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A Look at the MARS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport) August 24, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in NASA, space tourism, Spaceport.
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A post over at Space Politics (with the glorious title of “Virginia is (still) for spaceport lovers” :) ) recently highlighted the fact that the Republican candidate (Bob McDonnell)  for Virginia’s governorship toured the MARS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport) and expressed support for its development.

Thsi was actually the first I’d heard about this spaceport, so here’s a look at it:

Located at Wallops Island, VA (just south of the Maryland border on the Atlantic), the MARS facility is being built at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility for use by commercial and other users. This is the second regional spaceport to begin development in the U.S., with New Mexico’s Spaceport America (home of Virgin Galactic) being the first.

Having a high-profile candidate for a governor’s office embrace a spaceport so actively is an interesting step further into the mainstream for private space. With the Augustine Panel’s grim take on NASA’s budgetary future, we may be seeing an increasing number of these embraces of private space as the year goes on…

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