MAMA: Years from connecting with residents

Mary Ann Sabo, spokesperson, MAMA

BIG BAY — The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association has issued a statement regarding its proposed spaceport, which is planned for Powell Township.

“We are in the beginning stages of permitting the first Michigan Launch Initiative site in Oscoda,” said Mary Ann Sabo, a spokesperson for MAMA, in an email. “We are years away from starting the permitting process in Granot Loma. We remain committed to engaging with all the local communities where we have operations to listen to their concerns and to answer their questions.

“In Granot Loma, though, we are still several years away from definitive plans that will allow us to connect meaningfully with residents.”

Sabo said the launches will carry satellites into low-earth orbit.

MAMA’s plan for the facility, part of the Michigan Launch Initiative, was announced in 2020. The Powell Township site, if built, would be part of the spaceport that would include a horizontal-launch site at the downstate Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, with operations for both sites supported by a command-and-control center in Chippewa County.

The Powell Township Board on Tuesday heard an update from Jeanne Baumann, who represented the volunteer Powell Township Spaceport Research Group.

The group’s task is to gather information about the spaceport proposal in the context of what it means for the township, Baumann said.

Baumann said the group has four focus areas: launch day impact, jobs/economic impact, zoning/local government and the environment.

MAMA has posted feasibility studies related to the project on its website at www.


“One thing that we did learn that’s very different from the other public announcements that have been given to the people in Marquette (County) is they are planning on multiple launch pads,” Baumann said. “Not one little launch pad.”

Each of those launch pads, she said, will have four lightning towers that are 150 feet tall, roads, water-deluge systems and fuel supplies.

Residents from throughout Marquette County have expressed concerns about possible environmental damage, noise and the fact that the spaceport would not be economically feasible.

For example, Powell Township Supervisor Darlene Turner said at the Tuesday board meeting that the township received 11 letters regarding the spaceport — all against it.

Turner said township officials had not heard from MAMA CEO Gavin Brown within the past year.

“It’s a really big challenge for Powell Township, and we don’t know how to turn,” she said. “We haven’t any contact with MAMA except for one phone call. I talked with Gavin Brown one time over a year.”

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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