Orbital Sciences, Virginia Settle Lawsuit Out of Court

Antares rolled out to the launch pad on Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA)
Antares rolled out to the launch pad on Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA)

Space News reports that Orbital Sciences Corporation and the Commonwealth of Virginia have settled a lawsuit over the ownership of the transport system that carries the company’s Antares rocket from its assembly building to its launch pad on Wallops Island.

The publication reports that Virginia has agreed to take ownership of Transporter Erector Launcher. Neither side would disclose the terms of the out-of-court settlement. Orbital Sciences had been seeking for the state to purchase the vehicle for $16.5 million plus interest.

In 2010, Orbital Sciences spent $42 million to purchase the vehicle and several other assets to provide a cash infusion to Virginia, which was struggling with cost overruns in building a launch pad for Antares.

Under the purchase agreement, Virginia was to buy back these assets at a later date. The state balked at buying back the Transporter Erector Launcher, saying it would require extensive and expensive modifications for use with any other rockets that might use the same launch pad.