Virginia opens new payload processing facility on Wallops Island

Gov. Ralph Northam celebrated Thursday the opening of the Commonwealth’s newest facility to prepare rockets and payloads for launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Payload Processing Facility (MARS PPF), which held a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication with Governor Northam this morning, represents a major expansion in capabilities for the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the region.

“The new MARS Payload Processing Facility enhances the Wallops complex and is a critical part of our commitment to serve as a world-class center for space research, exploration, and commerce,” said Northam. “With one of just four spaceports in the country located in Virginia, and one of only two on the East Coast, this investment will continue to position the Commonwealth as the premier leader in the aerospace industry.”

virginia map

© niroworld

The MARS PPF will eliminate processing bottlenecks, enabling Virginia Space to serve multiple customers at the same time. With several cargo bays, the fully contained MARS PPF will provide government and commercial businesses with secure mission processing for multiple payloads in one facility from arrival to encapsulation.

“The committed support of the Commonwealth continues to be integral to the success of Wallops as an economic engine for Virginia,” said CEO and Executive Director of Virginia Space and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Dale Nash.

Located on the north end of Wallops Island, the state-of-the-art facility provides needed processing space as MARS prepares for an increase in launch and unmanned systems activity over the next few years.

“The completion of this facility expands the ability of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to deliver a secure, customer-oriented gateway to space,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news