HAMPTON, Va. -- Aerospace is the economic engine that can propel Virginia's economy to new levels.
NASA leaders from Langley Research Center in Hampton and Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore will join aerospace industry representatives statewide to bring this message to General Assembly members on AeroSpace Day 2009, Thursday, Feb. 5, in Richmond.
In its annual year-end review and forecast, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) reported that the aerospace sector is showing growth in both sales and employment when other industries are seeing dramatic downturns. "Aerospace helps ensure our national security, bolsters advanced technology innovation and is maintaining its critical support of the U.S. economy," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey.
Virginia has more than 350 aerospace companies and employs over 27,000 people, generating a direct economic output of $5.6 billion. NASA facilities in Virginia generate $1.2 billion and over 11,000 jobs. Additionally, NASA revenues translate into approximately $64 million in federal taxes and almost $14 million in state and local taxes.
Reporters are invited to attend a news conference featuring NASA Langley Center Director Lesa Roe and Wallops Director John Campbell at 10:30 a.m. at the General Assembly, 4 West Conference Room, 9th and Broad Streets, Richmond.
Astronaut Andy Thomas, mission specialist on three Shuttle flights and flight engineer who spent over four months onboard the Mir space station, will be on hand to discuss NASA's long-term exploration goals.
Throughout the morning, Langley educational experts will demonstrate NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN), an electronic education capability that links students and teachers with NASA experts across the nation. In addition, General Assembly members will meet with students in their home districts via the DLN.
At 10 a.m., Senator Frank Wagner, R-VA-7, will talk with students at Salem High School, Virginia Beach.
At 11 a.m. Senator Yvonne Miller, D-VA-5 will meet with students at Ocean Air Elementary School in Norfolk, a NASA Explorer School.
Finally reporters are invited to attend the legislative session at noon where Virginia's aerospace community will be recognized.
For information about NASA and agency education programs, visit:
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