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Economic Impact Study of Wallops Island Aerospace Cluster 2023

In 2023, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (“Virginia Spaceport Authority”) commissioned the ODU Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy to conduct a study of the economic impact of the Wallops Island Aerospace Cluster (WIAC).  The results show that the WIAC’s economic impact increased significantly from 2018 through 2022, continuing to have a positive impact on Virginia’s economy.


The Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Chesapeake Bay on the west. The Eastern Shore is a quiet place of great natural beauty. A rich history graces the area with historic homes, churches, museums, and landmarks inviting visitors to explore the past. Festivals and events are held annually by local communities to celebrate the area’s heritage. MARS is surrounded by excellent fishing, crabbing, camping, hunting, boating, and swimming, including on the famous Chincoteague and Assateague islands. Just sixty miles south of MARS is the well-known Bay Creek Resort, ranked 12th nationally by Golf World Magazine. Virginia Beach, Virginia, and  Ocean City, Maryland are both within a 2-hour drive. Both ocean-side towns offer many attractions, including convention centers providing named entertainment, concerts, and cultural events.

Economic Impact

During the period 2018-2022, the Virginia Spaceport Authority contributed nearly $36.8 million dollars to Virginia's annual real GDP. The Wallops Island Aerospace Cluster, of which VSA plays a key role, added an average of 3,300 and 4,600 jobs each year to the Virginia economy.

Legislative Impact

The Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware congressional delegations value the Virginia Spaceport Authority and MARS’ national security, civil and commercial space development, and STEM engagement activities and view them as a smart investment in the shared region. We welcome federal and state legislators on tours of the facilities and update them on our activities.

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