Saturday, October 29, 2005

Spaceport Sheboygan

Sounds far fetched. But there is a serious effort being made to expand Wisconsin's presence in the aerospace and space industry.

UPI: Wisconsin may open private spaceport.

What's really going on? I wrote Wisconsin Senator Joe Leibham (9th District) who replied

Thank you for contacting me regarding Senate Bill 352, legislation that I authored that would create the Wisconsin Aerospace Authority (WAA) and Spaceport Sheboygan. While I am not your State Senator, I appreciate your interest in, and comments on this legislation and am hopeful that we may see you in Sheboygan in the future

In addition to creating WAA and Spaceport Sheboygan, one of the primary objectives of this legislation is to conduct a study on ways to improve and develop the aerospace industry here in Wisconsin. To provide you with some additional information, I have attached a link to this legislation - -

and a link to a recent column that I wrote describing my interest in this issue -

Thank you again for your insightful comments. I wish you the best in your career and hope that the State of Wisconsin will be viewed as a favorable climate to locate expanding businesses like Liftport in the

Well, thanks Senator Leibham. We'll see.

What's going on is that some folks in Sheboygan want to turn the Armory there into a space and science center - the Midwest's resource for space travel and exploration, rocketry and so on. Reasonable - they already do a thing there launching some pretty big rockets for high school kids. The state pols (I infer) got involved and want to expand the economy a bit by glooming onto the aerospace market.

Which isn't a bad idea - that's the government's job; creating an environment where business can thrive and create wealth.

I'm more than a little dubious that Wisconsin can compete in the launch business with places like Mojave but .. aerospace can happen anywhere and Wisconsin has a thriving manufacturing base in aero and high tech. We don't have to launch things from here - making 'stuff' would be more profitable (if less glamourous) in the long run. Hopefully the proposed WAA can use the Sheboygan Spaceport idea to attract attention to our strengths.

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