Michigan Legislature Declares March 30 Space Day

The Michigan Legislature passed a bipartisan resolution on March 24 to make March 30 Space Day in the state, according to a press release from the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association, as aerospace industry leaders attempt to establish Michigan as the epicenter of the Central American space ecosystem.

To honor the day, MAMA is bringing a group of lawmakers and business leaders to Cape Canaveral, Florida to meet with leading space companies, like SpaceX and Blue Origin, and discuss Michigan’s potential growth as a as a space state, according to the release.

The Cape Canaveral area has two active launch facilities: Kennedy Space Center (on Merritt Island) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Base (on the cape itself). It is also known as the Space Coast of Florida, according to information from space.com.

“As we recognize Michigan’s first Space Day, we are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to provide lawmakers and business leaders with a bird’s-eye view of one of space’s leading economies,” said MAMA executive director Gavin Brown said in the statement. “This is an important time for our state’s growing space ecosystem.”

The group was also scheduled to attend the SpaceX launch on March 30, but the launch was canceled on Monday.

Significance of the day/event:

Industry leaders say this is the first official state recognition of aerospace manufacturers.

“We appreciate the Legislature‘s official declaration of Space Day and its recognition of the more than 600 aerospace-related businesses in our state that generate more than $3 billion in annual revenue,” Brown said. in the press release. “We hope to continue to provide our stakeholders with these invaluable opportunities as we strive to position Michigan as a leader in this lucrative $253 billion industry.”

Why Michigan:

Brown noted several key factors that make Mitten an excellent location to be the epicenter of Mid-America’s space ecosystem in the release, including:

  • Incredible human talent, with the highest concentration of electrical and mechanical engineers nationwide and more industrial designers employed than any other state.
  • Unparalleled manufacturing prowess and technical expertise, with manufacturing-friendly tax laws and one of the most favorable business climates in the Midwest.
  • Critical infrastructure at Sawyer International Airport in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, which feature runways approximately 12,000 feet long – long enough to accommodate aircraft needed for some space tests.
  • The greatest amount of restricted airspace east of the Mississippi River with several areas of military operations in the Great Lakes region.
  • Prime location in the Upper Midwest that provides the ability to locate facilities in sparsely populated areas to create safe test lanes.
  • Convenient access and proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Institute of Manufacturing Innovation, LIFT and its eight research partners: Carnegie-Mellon University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan and Western Michigan University.

MAMA’s major programs:

MAMA’s other major programs include the Michigan Launch Initiative to solidify the state’s place as a leading commercial aerospace ecosystem, establishing three sites: horizontal and vertical launch facilities to provide launching satellites into low earth orbit and a command and control center to manage post-launch satellites. operations, according to the press release.

Oscoda–Wurtsmith Airport is a proposed horizontal launch site. The association chose a vertical launch site on the Granot Loma Farm property in Marquette County. Chippewa County Airport will be the association’s command and control center. Brown told ABC 10 News that plans for the hundred billion dollar project had not materialized.

The company is also working to bring together commercial, academic and defense organizations to develop a hypersonic suborbital test range through its Mid-America Hypersonic Suborbital Test Range initiative.

The “hypersonic corridor” would stretch from the Upper Peninsula to the east coast and allow commercial and defense developers to test hypersonic technology, the statement said.