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Va, Orbital strike new deal on regional spaceport

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority has reached an agreement with a northern Virginia company on plans to launch rockets from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the agreement with Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp. on Monday regarding the launch site on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Virginia partnered with the company in 2008 to make improvements to the spaceport that are expected to be completed later this month.

The new agreement states that Orbital will launch 10 flights from the facility, including eight resupply missions to the International Space Station. Virginia will pay to complete additional improvements at the spaceport to support the missions.

Under the agreement, the authority will own and operate all assets that are not specific to Orbital's missions and can be used for other customers.