Competing for Taurus

In recent weeks officials in Florida and Virginia have been vying to win over Orbital Sciences Corporation, which is deciding between Cape Canaveral and Wallops for the launch site of its new Taurus 2 launch vehicle, part of its COTS system for delivering cargo to the ISS. The two states are reportedly offering various incentives to Orbital after the company surprised some in Florida when it announced in February that it would carry out at least initial test flights from Wallops. As part of its effort to win over Florida, members of Florida’s congressional delegation signed a letter urging Orbital to launch from the Cape. A total of 20 of the 27 members of the delegation, 8 Democrats and 12 Republicans, signed the letter. (An interesting omission from the list was Sen. Bill Nelson.) No timetable for choosing a launch site has been announced, although one person I talked with yesterday who is familiar with the issue said a decision could come as soon as next week.

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