Friday, March 9, 2012

NASA Agreement With Bermuda Paves Way For Virginia Launch Site

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida -- NASA and the government of Bermuda signed an agreement yesterday to establish a temporary mobile tracking station on Cooper's Island to support launches from the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia including future commercial missions.  Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Derrick Burgess and NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver signed the agreement.

The mobile tracking station will be provided and operated by Wallops under NASA's Research Range Services Program. The station can provide telemetry, meteorological, optical, and command and control services. It will support the launch of commercial rockets carrying supplies to the International Space Station or satellites to low-Earth orbit.  Thereby creating a competing launch complex for similar payloads that are launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

"This tracking station will help facilitate NASA's partnership with commercial companies and support operations aboard the International Space Station," Garver said. "We're grateful to the government of Bermuda for its ongoing support to NASA."

Bermuda has been a long-time partner of NASA in supporting space exploration. The British territory hosted a radar tracking station from the Mercury Project in the early 1960s through most of the Space Shuttle Program.