Sen. MacDonald plays key role in launch initiative progress

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald praised the identification of a location just north of Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as a potential vertical space launch site as part of the Michigan Launch Initiative (MLI).

“Michigan’s access to talent, manufacturing infrastructure and global positioning make our state perfectly situated for horizontal and vertical launches and technical support for post-launch satellite operations,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “I am proud to see the progress the Michigan Launch Initiative is making to help bring exciting and unique space industry opportunities to Macomb County and our state.”

Last year, MacDonald fought to secure a $2 million state grant for the MLI to conduct surveys of possible locations for launch sites 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.

The announcement for the vertical space launch comes just months after the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport outside of Oscoda was identified as the top candidate for a horizontal spaceport.

The two launch sites in Marquette and Oscoda, along with a yet-to-be-identified command and control center, will create more than 2,000 jobs. These sites will be instrumental in creating a space ecosystem in the state that is projected to top 40,000 new jobs by 2025.

“This is a truly out-of-this-world opportunity that could have an enormous impact on our future,” MacDonald said.