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Russia May Pull Out Of Space Station Early; Virginia Has A Stake

Russia has announced that it does not plan to use the International Space Station beyond 2020, casting a shadow on US plans to extend the life of the orbiting laborary until at least 2024, and Virginia has a considerable stake.

Missions to supply the space station have been launched from Wallops Island since last year. Orbital has launch facilities and personnel at Wallops, corporate headquarters in Northern Virginia, and a 1.9 billion dollar contract with NASA.

Spokesman Barron Baneski said yesterday that the company does not have an immediate reaction to the Russian reports and noted that the company’s current contract calls for delivery of cargo to the Space Station through 2016.