Michigan vies for place in space race

Sep 1, 2020 at 10:56 am
click to enlarge Michigan vies for place in space race
City of Sterling Heights Facebook page

Forget the Motor City — Michigan could become a Great Space State.

Multiple sites in the state are being considered in the aerospace field. On Monday, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing Association announced it had winnowed down a list of potential locations for a new space launch command center to six sites across the state, including Harrison Township's Selfridge Air Base, Ypsilanti, Dowagiac, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, and Traverse City.

The command center would support satellite launch sites planned for near Marquette and Oscoda Township.

On top of that, President Donald Trump's newly minted U.S. Space Force is considering Sterling Heights as the location for its space command headquarters, United States Space Command (USSPACECOM).

"The fact that our region has such a robust defense presence, industrial base, and a skilled workforce second to none will surely set our community apart during the evaluation phase," Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor said in July. "But I think the icing on the cake is the sense of military support imbued in our local culture. You’d be hard pressed to find another community that shares the level of support for the armed forces we see here."

Indeed. Plus, we're sure Sterling Heights' "Halo" sculpture could easily be modified to be made into a Stargate once humans figure out how to use that technology.

Anyway, Michigan is apparently being considered as a prime location for space launches because of the valuable, uncovered real estate above our heads — most satellites are launched in the South, around the equator.

"We have deployment on the 45th parallel," Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing Association executive director Gavin Brown told The Detroit News. "We can use that advantage to put more payload as opposed to propulsion on these rockets."

MAMA says the Michigan command center could bring more than $1 billion in funding and 40,000 jobs to the state.

The group is hosting its annual North American Space Summit this week in Traverse City.

The final location is expected to be announced in November.

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