Wallops’ annual economic impact $1.5 billion

April 18, 2024
Northrup Grumman, Antares, Cygnus, SS Piers Sellers capsule, NASA Wallops Keith Misener

Wallops Director Dave Pierce gave a presentation to the Accomack County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday night.  Pierce told the Board that Wallops plans to launch a total of 24 sounding rockets in 2024.  Pierce said that plans are underway to  construct 7 new launch pads to serve the needs of the Wallops Flight Facility and Rocket Lab in the future.

He also said that among cooperative projects is one with Drone-Up which is testing drones that will end up ferrying medicine to Tangier from Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.

Pierce said that cooperative programs are underway for Eastern Shore Community College, ODU, Salisbury State University and Wor-Wic Tech to focus on training local students for careers at NASA. There are also camps for both middle and high school students interested in STEM subjects.

There are 40 missions scheduled for this year including a mission this summer to launch a solar telescope to the ISS.  He also said that Northrup Grumman is building a new rocket which will be sending payloads to the ISS in 2026.

Pierce said that during the solar eclipse, there were 2000 viewers on Wallops and 3000 additional viewers at the visitor’s  center.   Three sounding rockets were launched during the eclipse.

Wallops employs 1,800 personnel with an additional 200 expected to be hired in the near future generating an annual payroll of $335 million with an overall economic impact of $1.5 billion.

Pierce also said that in the near future Rocket Lab plans to transport a large Neutron Rocket by barge down the Chesapeake Bay and up the seaside for launch later this year.  Rocket Lab will eventually manufacture the Neutrons at their facility at the NASA main gate.

“It is the goal of the Wallops Flight Facility to be a good partner in the community and provide opportunities for local residents to find good jobs here at home,” he concluded.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

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