Michigan continues to launch into space industry

Sep 11, 2019

Rockets that carry satellites into space may soon take off from Northern Michigan.

Aerospace representatives attend the second annual Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association conference in Traverse City Monday and Tuesday
Credit Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

The Michigan Launch Alliance is currently eyeing various locations across the state, including up north.

“Michigan is a logical choice due to its Northern Latitude,” says Sean McDaniel, CEO of Traverse City-based Atlas Space Operations. 

A launch site was the main topic at the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association conference that took place on Monday and Tuesday in Traverse City.

Hundreds of aerospace engineers, NASA representatives and government officials attended the convention, exploring ways to boost the industry in Michigan. 

McDaniels says we’ll know in about six months if Northern Michigan is chosen for the launchpad, and the site will be built within two years.

Aerospace experts says the state of Michigan is poised to become a big player in the space industry.

“I’m excited to see Michigan diversify its industrial base from automotive into space,” McDaniel says. “What it means is an opportunity to bring more higher paying technology jobs to the state of Michigan to support a growing economy.”

Russ Brown from Sciaky Inc., an industrial metal 3D printing company, agrees the aerospace industry can help pivot Michigan out of automotive.

He feels the state is on track to be competitive in the space technology field.