U.P. snags space ground station, on short list for command center

Christel Deskins

KINCHELOE, MI – A space command and control center could be coming to the Upper Peninsula where work is underway on a ground station and there are plans for two satellite launch sites. Kincheloe is on the short list of possible locations for a new Oakman Aerospace command and control […]

KINCHELOE, MI – A space command and control center could be coming to the Upper Peninsula where work is underway on a ground station and there are plans for two satellite launch sites.

Kincheloe is on the short list of possible locations for a new Oakman Aerospace command and control center to support satellite launches and daily operations, according to an Oakman news release. Colorado-based Oakman named six finalists.

The Eastern U.P. community is already chosen for Oakman’s Homestead ground station, which is being assembled at the Chippewa County International Airport, the release states. It is expected to be finished in early 2021.

Together, the control center and ground station would enable U.S. government, commercial and academic satellite missions, according to the release.

“We know the hardworking people of Michigan and its growing space ecosystem are poised to make the state a future leader of the U.S. space industry,” Stanley O. Kennedy Jr., Oakman co-founder, president and chief systems engineer, said in a statement.

Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation has its sights set on being a big part of Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association’s efforts to develop a space state.

“The future of space is U.P.” Chris Olson, president of the CCEDC, said in a statement.

The command center location is expected to be chosen by November. Having Homestead in the county gives the Kincheloe site a leg-up on the competition, Olson said.

Launch sites for low-orbiting satellites are in the works for Marquette and Oscoda. The aerospace industry surge is expected to create thousands of jobs.

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