Press Release

NASA Leadership Travels to Richmond for Aerospace Day

By SpaceRef Editor
January 27, 2011
Filed under , ,

At a time when many mature industries are declining nationwide, Virginia’s aerospace research and technology industry has four times the concentration of high-paying jobs as the national average, a significant competitive advantage for the Commonwealth.

On Feb. 2-3 at AeroSpace Day in Richmond, NASA Langley Director Lesa Roe and Wallops Director William Wrobel will join other NASA senior leaders, industry representatives and colleagues from academia to explore with members of the General Assembly how best to leverage this advantage.

Concluding the two-day event, media are invited to a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in the General Assembly 4 West Conference Room. NASA’s Roe and Wrobel will join Virginia Manufacturers Association President and CEO Brett Vassey in a special announcement. Events earlier that day include:

An interactive education forum co-sponsored by the chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees to discuss how student programs are contributing to the Commonwealth’s future aerospace workforce. Several Virginia robotics teams will be featured at the 7 to 8:30 a.m. event in House Room 3, Capitol Building.

General Assembly members and Astronaut Dominic (Tony) Antonelli will make live connections with the following schools via NASA’s Digital Learning Network:

* Mack Benn Jr. Elementary, Suffolk, Va.
* Post Oak Middle School, Spotsylvania, Va.
* KW Barrett Elementary, Arlington, Va.
* Oakland Elementary School, Suffolk, Va.
* Belmont Ridge Middle School, Leesburg

Antonelli served as Space Shuttle Discovery’s pilot on STS-119 in March 2009 and on Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-132 in May 2010. He has logged over 24 days in space. Aerospace is a high-tech engine propelling Virginia’s economy and creating high-paying jobs. Over 300 aerospace firms in the Commonwealth contribute $7.6 billion to the Virginia economy and create more than 28,000 jobs with an average annual salary of nearly $100,000. In addition, Virginia’s 66 public-use airports are well positioned as technology magnets for our communities and for the Commonwealth.

NASA’s two Virginia facilities bring in $1.2 billion and support 10,458 jobs. Virginia’s newest aerospace assets are Rolls Royce and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS). MARS, one of four commercial spaceports licensed by the FAA to send rockets into orbit, is owned by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and is located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

For more information on NASA’s Langley Research Center, visit

For more information on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, visit

For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.