The International Space Station is going to be decommissioned in the next 10 years but that doesn’t mean the end of space flight at Wallops Island. It’s the beginning of something new.

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This rocket going to the ISS will resupply the orbiting lab with experiments to study cancer cells, manage oxygen levels and study plant growth in microgravity.

The next launch later this year, will start to open the door for more private enterprises. That’s where former director of NASA Langley, Dr. David Bowles comes in.

“We’ve got two payloads on it, one from ODU and the Coast Guard academy. Another from Virginia Tech. We are going to try and launch in August of 2022,” said Dr. David Bowles

On that mission, they are going to launch CubeSats or small satellites you can hold in your hand. Dr. David Bowles was at Langley for nearly forty years. He spent five as the director of the facility is now the Executive Director of Virginia Institute For Spaceflight and Autonomy. (VISA)

He sees big things for the Commonwealth’s future.

“Once you have the launchpad, you have a couple of different companies doing launches, then the people and the companies developing satellites. If they are launching from there, let’s locate the satellite development there,” he said.

“There are tons of new activities going on for private space stations, building outposts in space to do satellite servicing, satellite assembly, I think we truly are somewhat at a tipping point in the next several years. You are going to see commercial space open up to everybody.” said Dr. Bowles.

The future looks even brighter for space exploration in Virginia.