STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) announced on Thursday the selection of Chippewa County in the state’s Upper Peninsula as the site of its new command and control center.
Chippewa was among four communities across the state considered for the command and control center, according to a news release.
Site selection was based on several factors, including community support, constructability, existing communication infrastructure and established workforce and aerospace industry.
Chippewa was chosen as the third and final site in the Michigan Launch Initiative, a public-private partnership expected to bring about 40,000 new jobs and help solidify the state’s place as a premier commercial aerospace destination.
The new command and control center will help the initiative to interface with the U.S. Department of Defense and other related agencies on highly-sensitive and defense-related projects.
The Michigan Launch Initiative also includes a horizontal space launch site in Osconda and a vertical space launch site in Marquette.
Both sites were announced in 2020 as part of a yearlong selection process that included the command and control center.
The center will support both launch sites and provide classified and unclassified capabilities for the DOD and commercial space organizations.
It will manage satellite operations once rockets carrying small and midsized satellites are launched into low Earth orbit, which is about 1,200 miles above the Earth.
It will also manage research and development for high-speed suborbital flights.
“The large and contiguous site in Chippewa has existing facilities that can easily be converted to support the command and control center’s mission,” MAMA Executive Director Gavin Brown said. “It also has early radar line of sight tracking for the horizontal and vertical launch sites to support our Michigan Launch Initiative. The Chippewa community’s strong partnerships within the aerospace industry and its established aerospace labor market will allow for immediate support for the center.”
Now that the command and control center site has been selected, MAMA will work with community, local and state partners on environmental permitting, site design and construction.
The DOD plans to add 17,000 LEO satellites over the next decade – and Michigan’s new launch sites will help meet this demand while providing a multibillion dollar impact on the state’s economy.