Launch site a bad idea

To the Journal editor:

The proposed MAMA vertical launch site at Granot Loma is a reckless location for a spaceport development.

It is inconsiderate of the needs of local residents, neighboring landowners and the environment. The zoning is in conflict with current and historical use of the Lake Superior coastal location.

The few key players who stand to gain the most from this project fail to consider the environmental and economic health of the residents who have lived and will continue to live here long after this project has run its course.

The proposed site is on a large tract of land owned by one individual who is poised to benefit the most from the site selection. The motives to select this particular site are not transparent.

We ask that the voices of the immediate neighbors and local residents are given serious consideration when determining the fate of this project.

The proximity to the largest freshwater lake in the world, touted as a safety precaution, fails to recognize that same proximity as a serious environmental and public health concern.

There are very real dangers at rocket launches, namely explosions when a test goes wrong. In addition, hazardous propellants are involved in a launch that are highly active. Pollutants could be carried by the wind in the troposphere or release at higher altitudes.

Even rockets considered to have less harmful water vapor exhaust, used with greater frequency, could contribute to increasing ozone depletion and mesospheric cloud formation (Ross et al. 2006). Environmentally-friendly rocket-launching is as oxymoronic as “natural” coal, which is greenwashing, a marketing technique.

Should we risk any exposure or irreversible development impacts to our Marquette County Road 550 corridor? The character of this recreational zone is cherished by all. I’ve read that the Lake Superior shoreline will likely be closed during launches because it’s unsafe.

I wonder how much concern has been given to our forests, wildlife, and pristine waters, are those safe from exploding rockets plummeting to earth?


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