This week’s New Yorker featured an article, The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State, touting Michigan’s burgeoning spaceflight industry that as of yet has not gotten off the ground. As with most of today’s modern spaceflight tales, at its center lies another billionaire, at least I assume that is what Tom Baldwin is. As a purportedly rather successful commodities trader, I think that that is a fair assumption. According to the article, Mr. Baldwin owns a Lake Superior property that hosts one of the largest log cabins in the world, called Granot Loma. I guess Shangri-La was already taken. Located lakeside, northwest of Marquette, this cabin is nestled within about 5,000 acres of shorefront property. Baldwin would like to see at least part of this property used as a vertical rocket-launch site, by the Michigan Launch Initiative. Sitting north of the 45th Parallel, this site could be used to safely launch satellites out over the lake and into polar orbits.
This initiative is looking at two other locations to be part of their effort. One is located down state, but Chippawa International Airport is slated to be this operation’s command-and-control center. Are we looking at a future upgrade for this facility to spaceport? “Final boarding call at gate-one-and-only for Mars, Jupiter and all planets beyond.” In this article Baldwin even hints at his openness to collaborating with another big billionaire space enthusiast, Elon Musk.