Michigan Missiles

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Marquette launch site rendering
Marquette Launch Site rendering. Courtesy of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association

Michigan could become the Cape Canaveral of the north between 2023 and 2025, when a vertical launch site north of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula and a horizontal launch site at Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport south of Alpena are expected to go into operation, according to the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association.

The Sterling Heights-based trade association spent more than a year investigating sites throughout the state before announcing its decision on a horizontal launch (from under airplane wings) location in February and the vertical launch (from traditional pads) facility in July.

The two launch sites, along with a yet-to-be-identified command and control center, are projected to create more than 2,000 jobs. The sites will be instrumental in creating a space ecosystem that’s expected to top 40,000 new jobs by 2025, according to MAMA. Some experts are predicting satellite launches will be a $28-billion enterprise by 2028 due to defense needs, public demand for instant communications, GPS, and mobility.

“Michigan has a real opportunity to support a space-based ecosystem,” says Gavin Brown, executive director of MAMA. “By integrating sophisticated infrastructure with first-rate human talent, Michigan can be one of the leaders in the space industry.”

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