“Go Antares! Go Cygnus!” That was the phrase repeated across Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore and Wallops Island, VA on Sunday, July 13th. Maryland State Senator Jim Mathias, District 38, was on site for the Orbital Sciences Corporation launch of its Cygnus capsule aboard the Antares rocket, to carry supplies up to the International Space Station.
This was the third launch by Orbital Sciences Corp. for NASA and the cargo included more than 3,000 pounds of supplies, including scientific equipment, new bacteria-resistant gym clothes, and food for the astronauts. The unmanned capsule will likely arrive at the International Space Station on Wednesday with these much-needed provisions.
In describing the impact that the launch has on the Lower Shore, Senator Jim Mathias stated that: “As I was standing there among the crowd, ready to witness another magnificent rocket launch operation, I was so pleased to see how many of our local Maryland businesses were hard at work. Holloway Tours, Parties Etc., and Aerial Crane were just a few of the local businesses that are benefiting from having this critical NASA facility in our backyard. Wallops is a tremendous asset to build our industrial base and create jobs for our future.”
Though located in Virginia, the Wallops Island operations have a positive economic impact on the entire Shore. As pointed out in a February 2011 Economic Value Study by Salisbury University’s BEACON, the total yearly economic impact of the facilities on the Lower Eastern Shore- including Virginia’s Eastern Shore- is more than $188 million per year. For the total Lower Shore and outside region, Wallops has nearly a $400 million annual aggregate economic impact.
“When you realize the tremendous positive economic impact that Wallops’ activities have on the Lower Eastern Shore, and witness the thrill, excitement, and exhilaration that only a rocket launch can provide, you absolutely realize how exciting having the aerospace industry in our region is for our future,” stated Senator Mathias. “I join local business, education and economic leaders, our tourism industry, and our citizens on the Shore in saying ‘Go Antares! Go Cygnus!'”.
Senator Mathias represents District 38, which includes all of Somerset and Worcester Counties and part of Wicomico County on the Lower Eastern Shore. He is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over healthcare, energy, and business legislation. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served the residents of the Lower Shore as a member of the House of Delegates and as Mayor of Ocean City.