WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -

The regional spaceport on Virginia's eastern shore is now sending cargo to the International Space Station.  And one day, humans could be heading into space from the launch pad on Wallops Island.
 
Bigelow Aerospace is now developing an expandable module for the International Space Station.

And the company hopes to use the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to deploy an independent, free-flying commercial space station. The company says human spaceflight could have a huge economic impact on the entire state, including southwestern Virginia.

Mike Gold is the Director of D.C. Operations and Business Growth for Bigelow Aerospace.  We spoke with him recently via Skype. " I think southwestern Virginia, Virginia Tech, a lot of the companies and certainly educational institutions that you have down there would be absolutely involved at a very high level," Gold told WDBJ7, "because in the end this isn't about just sending people to space, it's about what you do there. "

Another company, Orbital Sciences, has completed the first of 8 resupply missions to the International Space Station.

Human spaceflight from Wallops Island will depend on funding from NASA, but Gold says he believes the regional spaceport is ready to take the next step.