Launching rockets from Wallops Island is a big deal in Virginia now. But the possibilities that exist for space travel in the near future could be an even bigger deal.
“We have developed a space port that proves we can launch into space. We launch critical missions to the International Space Station and we’re looking forward to building on that,” says Dale Nash, the Executive Director of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority.
The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority at ODU makes some of the big decisions when it comes to space travel from our shores.
And one thing that has been a big topic recently is the possibility of human spaceflight from Wallops Island.
“Any time you have astronauts on, your cargo is extremely precious, and you pay a lot of attention to that. So it`s a different game in many ways. But don`t discount what we`ve done so far because that`s very significant, too. It is the supplies and the lifeline to the astronauts on the International Space Station being launched from here. But that would be a very big deal,” Nash says.
In order to continue the launches, the board is working with NASA and the Army Corps to replenish sand and restore dunes to protect the infrastructure at Wallops Island.
“It’s very beneficial. It was that sand buildup that helped us ride out Superstorm Sandy very well. We didn’t really receive any kind of damage to the launch pad, just some erosion. This is building it back up,” Nash says.
So from the Space Station to the moon, these board members are playing a big role in keeping Wallops Island on the map for space travel.