A Spaceport in Powell Township
Michigan Aerospace Manufactures Association (MAMA) is a Michigan industry group whose purpose is to promote aerospace manufacturing in the state of Michigan. MAMA received $2 million from the state of Michigan to promote space launch development and formed the Michigan Launch Initiative (MLI). MAMA plans to develop two spaceports (one vertical launch, one horizontal launch) and a command center in Michigan to launch small class rockets to carry satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
- Chippewa County near Sault Ste Marie is the proposed location for the command center.
- The former Wurtzsmith Air Force Base near Oscoda is the proposed location for a horizontal launch spaceport.
- A lakeshore portion of Granot Loma, privately owned land in Powell Township halfway between Big Bay and Marquette, is the proposed location for a vertical launch site.
The Powell Township Board has chosen a group of residents to research and report on information about rockets, rocket launching, and the potential impact of the proposed spaceport to the residents of Powell Township. This group has collected information and will be using this website to share that information with the community.
The Spaceport Group has presented the following two summaries to the Powell Township Board.
August 9, 2021: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13bTpLG7d4Z4pRxA4l37Gr5MmvTTKPAlM
May 17, 2022: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AIcs304hB0y-zE5mEe6tMAn4Ca6u-_xV
These documents describe the 4 areas of focus for the Spaceport Group. They are:
- Launch Day Impact
- Jobs/Economic Impact
- Zoning/Local Government
There are a couple of items that give an overview of the original plans from MAMA and MLI. The first one was an interview done by TV6 and the second one was an article published in the New Yorker magazine.
- Story about the Spaceport Proposal – A short broadcast story from October-November, 2020, about the spaceport proposal.
To find the full 24 minute extended interview, scroll down to the near-bottom, and click on the video. This was not broadcast, but available on this website.
- The New Yorker magazine – author David Rompf came up to Powell Township and interviewed several people.
He compiled a variety of sources of information independently for this article titled The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State.
Launch Day Impact
- Code of Federal Regulations section about Aeronautics and Space
- Marquette County: The Michigan Launch Initiative
- Michigan Launch Initiative Home Page
- IQM Report – Below link is to a report performed by a non-profit research group with an impressive space background called IQM.
The Executive Summary, starting on page 8, is worth reading. This report is one that MAMA did not release to the public last fall.
- Spaceport Site Selection and Feasibility Study – Chapter 3 focuses on the Vertical Launch facility proposed for Granot Loma.
- Michigan Spaceport Economics and Business Report
- Kim Ferarro presentation – Kim Ferarro is an environmental attorney licensed in Indiana and Illinois working with an agency serving nonprofit entities.
She has a thorough knowledge of NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act). She has read the FAA’s regulations under NEPA, and the FAA EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) processes and requirements. She has also reviewed the Powell Township Zoning Ordinance and newly revised Master Plan. She has lived in Marquette Township for several years. The link below contains some information that Kim put together and presented to this group
- Dennis Ferraro’s presentation – Dennis Ferraro is the president of Citizens for Safe and Clean Lake Superior.
He gave a talk at NMU’s Sonderegger Symposium November 5, 2021. His speech starts at about the 1:28:30 mark in the video.
Next Spaceport Group Meeting: Sept. 15th, 2022 3:00pm at Township Hall
All are welcome to attend the Spaceport Research Group meeting. However, please understand that this is a meeting and we appreciate no one interrupting the meeting.