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Spaceport

Picture:  Sheboygan County is home to the only spaceport in the midwest.

On August 29, 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation officially approved creating Spaceport Sheboygan, located on Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Spaceport Sheboygan strives to support space research and education through suborbital launches for student projects. The centerpiece of Spaceport Sheboygan will be the proposed Great Lakes Aerospace Science & Education Center (GLASEC).

This facility utilizes the Sheboygan armory and provides 4,600 square meters (50,000 square feet) of exhibit space to provide a space travel, math, and science oriented education center. The center will include hands-on multi-sensory exhibits, a theatre and planetarium, and a mission control facility that will provide simulated space missions from launch to landing. As of December 2009, five million dollars has been raised to open GLASEC.

Suborbital sounding rocket launches to altitudes of up to 55 kilometers (34 miles) have been conducted at the site. Additionally, Rockets for Schools, a student program founded in Wisconsin by Space Explorers, Inc., and developed by the Aerospace States Association, has conducted suborbital launches at Spaceport Sheboygan since its inception in 1995.

The Wisconsin Aerospace Authority (WAA) was created in 2006 and is tasked with promoting the aerospace industry and education for the aerospace sector in Wisconsin, as well as the creation of and promotion of a spaceport in Sheboygan.

Spaceport Sheboygan is currently focused on education, in the long-term supporters hope the facility could be used to launch vehicles into space. The WAA held a press conference as part of the Rockets for Schools event, in May 2009, announcing the release of their Strategic Plan.

Congressman Tom Petri(R) of Sheboygan and James Testwuide, Chairman of GLASEC spoke to a congressional aviation hearing about the long term plan and econoimc impact of Spaceport Sheboygan as shown below.