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Virginia to look at spaceport deal after explosion

November 19, 2014

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Virginia officials plan to re-examine a spaceport deal with Orbital Sciences Corp. following a rocket explosion that damaged a state-owned launch pad.

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne Jr. tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1EZo73D) that Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration may seek to renegotiate the deal.

McAuliffe also has asked Virginia’s two senators to look for federal funds to help pay for repairs.

Orbital spokesman Barron Beneski tells the newspaper the company is in talks with the state and NASA about repairs and the state’s financial risk. The state self-insures the launch pad through the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority.

An unmanned commercial supply rocket exploded moments after liftoff on Oct. 28. Layne says the explosion caused up to $20 million in damage.

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Previous versions misspelled Layne.

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