Senator Warner introduces legislation boosting spaceports

Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan introduced bipartisan legislation to support spaceports across the nation.

The legislation will increase investment in space and address the spaceport bottleneck.

The Alleviate Spaceport Traffic by Rewarding Operators Act, or ASTRO, would award funding to spaceports with a track record of launches, protecting and promoting America’s strategic, military, and commercial interests in space exploration while supporting their local economies.

The ASTRO Act would help private spaceports get the resources they need to improve the infrastructure and increase launch capacity and cadence.

Through the Act, spaceports would receive $250,000 for each licensed launch and $100,000 for each permitted launch up to $2.5 million to promote investment in spaceports that have a record of successful launches.

One of the spaceports eligible for those funds includes Wallops Island in Virginia.

To view the Senator’s full release, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Laurel Ridge students rocket experiment into space

Used by permission by Laurel Ridge Community College

An experiment of two Laurel Ridge Community College students rocketed into space this summer after attending a NASA workshop.

Brian Gern and Ben Stange were accompanied by Computer Science Professor Dr. Melissa Stange to the six day RockOn! workshop this summer at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The students built a computer from scratch that included a Geiger counter to measure radiation in space.

Their experiment was scheduled to launch in June but was delayed due to poor weather conditions.

The group returned in August to see their hard work sent off into space on a NASA rocket. 

Professor Stange said, “Not only did our students have an opportunity to learn about cross-discipline activities – they were able to apply what they had learned in multiple classes, such as computer science, drones and electrical – this experience gave them the opportunity to network with professionals at NASA. They were also able to learn about internships that could result from this experience. And, they developed friendships with students from around the U.S.”

To learn more about their experience, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.