Nasa has increased the support contract to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in a deal expected to be worth $43m through May 2014.

The long-term capabilities of the Virginia Space Flight Authority at Wallops flight facility (WFF) are being enhanced to provide launch services for small and medium-class orbital missions.

WFF is scheduled to be the launch site for Nasa’s lunar atmosphere and dust experiment explorer (LADEE) in late 2012 which will use an air force Minotaur V rocket.

Launches to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) are also set to take place from Wallops utilising the Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus II launch vehicle.

Wallops is described as a low-cost, safe and reliable launch facility for commercial, government and scientific users from across the world.