Earlier in 2012, the Bermuda Government signed a four-year agreement allowing NASA to use the land. It was announced in March 2012 that missions to the international space station by the US will be monitored by a new NASA tracking station in Bermuda. The US and Bermuda governments signed a four-year agreement for the temporary mobile station to be sited at Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve. NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said the Island was geographically in the “perfect spot” for tracking launches from the Wallops Flight Facility and the agreement could be extended. She said the mobile tracking unit was expected to be used two to four times a year by NASA personnel, with the first mission expected in the summer. A “handful” of local jobs for maintaining the facility will be created. The station would have a small footprint and the site would be restored to its original condition after NASA’s departure. There is an educational component to the agreement between the two governments, which would link NASA tracking experts with local schools interested in the agency’s scientific activities here. The mobile system can be used not only to support supply missions to the International Space Station, but also launch satellites to low-Earth orbits. During launches, a team of ten personnel travel to Bermuda to configure the mobile tracking system, conduct the operation, and then pack the systems to be returned to Wallops. NASA’s second-in-command Lori Garver said that the agency was working with private partners in US industry to send launch vehicles to the International Space Centre to help with supplies and logistics. Steven Kremer, NASA Wallops deputy range manager, explained: “Owning, deploying, and controlling our own assets means control over scheduling. “It gives us higher confidence in promising range availability to our customers when they come to Wallops for services. In addition, our services offered from Bermuda will benefit other customers who launch from other ranges such as the United States Air Force’s Eastern Range in Florida.”