Congresswoman Elaine Luria Passes Amendment to FY21 NDAA to Establish Small Space Launch Policy

July 1, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Armed Services Committee unanimously passed Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Congressman Doug Lamborn’s bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a small launch and satellite policy. This policy will bolster launch sites like the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, which is in the Congresswoman’s district.

“NASA Wallops is extremely important to the economy of our district along the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Establishing a small launch and satellite policy will bring high-tech jobs to the Eastern Shore and will continue to diversify the Shore’s economy,” said Congresswoman Luria (D-VA-2). “I will continue working to support NASA Wallops and the critical national security activities carried out there.”

“I was happy to co-author this amendment and ensure the Department of Defense thoughtfully develops a more robust small satellite and small launch capability. This is invaluable to making our national security space enterprise more resilient and agile,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5). “I look forward to working with the Department of Defense and my colleagues in Congress to see this program implemented.”

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops Island, VA is home to the world’s newest liquid rocket pad. It is the latest capital investment in MARS made by the Commonwealth of Virginia and further strengthens our nation’s space launch infrastructure and its resilience. Combined with the new capability to process spacecraft and integrate with rockets in the new MARS Payload Processing Facility, Wallops Island is a highly secure and effective environment to conduct launch operations in support of national security.

Creating a new policy to foster continued small launch operations will give launch site operators like MARS certainty to continue investing and growing their capabilities.

Click here for the amendment text.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.