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Firefly Aerospace Selects Virginia Spaceport For New Launch Site 

American aerospace company to launch Alpha rocket from Virginia’s Eastern Shore 
Governor Youngkin has announced that Firefly Aerospace has selected Virginia as the new launch site of its two-stage orbital Alpha rocket, attracted through a collaboration effort between the Virginia Spaceport Authority, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP).

Firefly Aerospace plans to begin launching Alpha in 2025 from Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located on Wallops Island in Accomack County.

“As growth at Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport accelerates, we are delighted to welcome Firefly Aerospace to Virginia,” said Governor Youngkin. “The Commonwealth plays a critical role in supporting national security as the need to maintain our nation’s leadership in space becomes increasingly evident. I look forward to Firefly’s success in Virginia as we work together to bolster our nation’s aerospace industry.”

Firefly’s flight-proven Alpha rocket provides responsive, reliable launch services for commercial, civil, and national security missions with the capability to launch more than 1,000 kg to low-Earth orbit with just 24-hour notice. The new Alpha launch capability on Wallops Island will supplement Firefly’s existing launch complex at the Vandenberg Space Force Base and further enable Firefly’s rapid launch operations.

With existing infrastructure already in place, Wallops Islands also offers a streamlined, accelerated approach to launching Firefly’s Alpha rocket and new Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV) from the same pad.

“Firefly is proud to launch our Alpha rocket from Wallops Island to conduct our responsive space operations on the East and West Coast,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Governor Youngkin and his teams at Virginia Spaceport Authority and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation are great partners as we expand Firefly’s launch services for both Alpha and MLV. Their support is enabling greater launch schedule flexibility while simultaneously creating new, high-tech jobs in Virginia.”

Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport has three launch pads, with a fourth under construction, and a state-of-the art payload processing facility. MARS provides the full rocket launch value chain to its growing roster of customers.

“Firefly’s decision to choose Wallops Island as the launch site for its new Alpha rocket demonstrates the critical role Virginia plays in supporting our nation’s growing aerospace industry,” said Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership between Firefly and the Commonwealth as we work together to advance space transportation.”

“The Virginia Spaceport Authority is excited to welcome Firefly to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport,” said Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Spaceport Authority. “Firefly will join the thriving aerospace industry on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and will further enhance economic development in the region. We look forward to Alpha launching from our pad 0A in the near future.”

“VIPC prides itself on collaboration and this is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the power of partnership here in Virginia which leads to successfully attracting new business capital investment and high-wage job creation, increasing industry competitiveness and expansion, and fostering innovation and technology growth,” said Joseph Benevento, CEO of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. “Firefly is on an impressive growth trajectory which will now be further bolstered through the unique capabilities of Virginia’s thriving aerospace and space technology ecosystems.”

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is located on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF). Virginia Spaceport Authority leases from NASA the land upon which the launch pads and other facilities sit. WFF provides range support services to the spaceport.

“Our future at Wallops is bright and we’re excited to see Firefly coming to Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport,” said David L. Pierce, Wallops Flight Facility Director. “The Virginia Spaceport Authority is helping to usher in a new era of growth at Wallops, and the NASA range is ready to support and ‘go’ for launch.”

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