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Michigan site selected for vertical space launch, will create jobs

(KOTA)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:21 PM EDT
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STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) announced Thursday that the site selected for a vertical space launch site in a location just north of Marquette.

The site-selection process has been a year-long effort. Sites were ranked based on several factors: the existing commercial and public infrastructure, geographic and terrestrial mapping, living standards and workforce development. Operations are expected to begin by early 2025.

“The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to some of the hardest working and most resourceful people in the world,” said U.S. Rep Jack Bergman, who represents the 1st District. “Locating this spaceport in the U.P. will create the opportunity for our residents to use their skills, talents and technological expertise to adapt to the changing needs of the commercial and defense space industries.  

The two launch sites in Marquette and Oscoda, along with a to-be-announced command and control center, will create more than 2,000 jobs. Together, these sites will be instrumental in creating a space ecosystem in the state that is projected to bring in 40,000 new jobs by 2025.

“Michigan has a real opportunity to support a space-based ecosystem,” said Gavin Brown, executive director of MAMA. “The Marquette location will be a critical component, bringing low-earth orbit vertical launch capabilities to the state to meet the domestic and global demand. By integrating sophisticated infrastructure with first-rate human talent, Michigan can be one of the leaders in the space industry.

Michigan is uniquely positioned to take advantage of integrated space resources working collaboratively to serve industries like autonomous technology, automotive, communications, medical, education and first responders. Michigan will be able to meet the demand for commercial, government and defense space launches, as well as the high demand for complete geographic broadband coverage, including 5G for electric vehicles anywhere in the United States.

In June 2019, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $2 million to assess the feasibility of developing one or more low-orbit launch sites in Michigan. In February 2020, MAMA announced the Oscoda site as the top candidate for a horizontal launch facility.

“I’m pleased the Marquette area has been chosen as a vertical space launch site and appreciate the comprehensive and thoughtful process that led to the selection,” said Rep. Sara Cambensy, who represents Michigan’s 109th District. “This will help bring a new industry to the U.P. and to our state that will provide good-paying jobs to our residents.

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