© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
TECHNOTE: 90.5 FM and AM870 reception

Group Wants To Thwart Construction Of Spaceport In Marquette County

an illustration showing a warehouse and parking lot, in the distance you can see a rocket
An artist's rendering of the proposed vertical launch site in Marquette County

The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association wants to build a vertical launch site for rockets carrying commercial satellites in Marquette County.

But a local group is protesting against those plans.

Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior says its goal is to protect the lake and its coastal habitat and to defeat the proposed construction of the site near the historic Granot Loma lodge.

Group President Dennis Ferraro says shockwaves and noise associated with launching rockets is bad, not only for the environment, but for the Upper Peninsula’s recreation-based economy.

“These are all areas that people come to because they like the quiet, beautiful wildness of our environment here in the U.P., so it’s just a bad idea all the way around.”

He says 50 acres of forestland would be clear cut to make way for the spaceport which would be near rivers, hiking trails, beaches and a nature conservancy.

Ferraro says because of the risk of explosion and the rocket going off course, which is somewhere between 21% and 29%, they’re going to have to evacuate at least six families every launch.

“That’s according to the county board’s own aerospace consultant. According to our consultant, it’s going to be more like 13 families.”

The group says there are 19 other, underused sites in the U.S. where the rockets can be launched.

Officials with MAMA say the project would create thousands of jobs across Michigan.

A horizontal launch site is planned for downstate Oscoda, and the Chippewa County Airport was selected as the spaceport command and control center.

To help strengthen our local reporting as WKAR's fiscal year ends, we need 75 new or upgraded sustainers by June 30th. Become a new monthly donor or increase your donation to support the trustworthy journalism you'll rely on before Election Day. Donate now.