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Wisconsin spaceport?

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  • Wisconsin spaceport?


    Bratwurst and cheeseheads and… rocket ships?

    by Eric R. Hedman
    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    For people familiar with Sheboygan, Wisconsin, space launches are not the first thing that comes to mind. In America’s Dairyland, the Sheboygan area is known for great bratwurst (I can personally attest to that), quality plumbing fixtures with “The Bold Look”, world-class golf courses that include Black Wolf Run and Whistling Straights (the home of the 2005 PGA Championship), and a beautiful shoreline and harbor on Lake Michigan. Neither the city of Sheboygan nor the state of Wisconsin, with the possible exception of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, are known for being a hotbed of aerospace activity. So why would Sheboygan become a site for suborbital tourist flights? I went to Sheboygan to meet the people behind the Sheboygan Spaceport project to find out why. I met with James A. Testwuide, a member of the Sheboygan Development Corporation board, and State Senator Joe Leibham of Sheboygan at the Sheboygan Armory, the future site of the Great Lakes Aerospace Science & Education Center at Spaceport Sheboygan.

    Sheboygan has one feature that is unique in the Midwest. Just to the east of Sheboygan, out over Lake Michigan, is a large area of restricted airspace that makes it suitable for space launches. The airspace is free of regular airline traffic and is used for training by Air National Guard units. Being over a very large lake, it has a huge area for debris to fall in case of an accident without risking many people. The risk, while low, is not zero because of boating and commercial shipping on the lake. The risk to the public is probably the lowest of any area in the Midwest.
    Dr. Mordrid
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