MacDonald supports grant for Michigan Launch Initiative

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Tuesday supported supplemental state funding to help Michigan return to space.

“Michigan’s geography, access to talent, existing manufacturing infrastructure and global positioning make our state uniquely situated for polar orbit launches and technical support for post-launch satellite operations,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “The Michigan Launch Initiative offers an exciting opportunity for Macomb County and our state, and this grant would help set up the public-private partnership and help it review potential launch and command facility locations.”

Senate Bill 150 is a supplemental appropriations bill for the current 2019 fiscal year. It includes a $2 million state grant for the Michigan Launch Initiative (MLI) to conduct surveys of possible locations for an $80 million launch site and a satellite command center — including site designs and environmental impacts.

The MLI is a proposed public-private partnership that would offer a collaborative platform in Michigan to provide low Earth orbit and hypersonic launch technology for commercial and defense applications. The launch site would be nearly entirely financed by private investment.

“I encourage the governor to embrace the out-of-this-world impact this initiative could have on Michigan’s future and support this important grant,” MacDonald said.

SB 150 now heads to the governor for consideration.