When you think about launching into space, you probably think of Cape Canaveral in Florida or NASA's Houston Mission Control. Or maybe that Spaceport America launch pad in the middle of the New Mexico desert. So would it surprise you that 5 sites in Northern Michigan could become America's newest spaceport?

It surprised us. And perhaps even more is the small town that's a leading candidate, Alpena. The small northeast Michigan city, along with three former Air Force faculties: Wurthsmith in Oscoda, Sawyer near Marquette and Kincheloe between the Bridge and Sault Ste. Marie are also in the running.

Why Northern Michigan? The Alpena News reports,

Northern Michigan could be a good spot for such a project because of its sparse population, its vast restricted airspace, an accessible interstate highway system, and its engineering and manufacturing capacity, according to a news release from the Aerospace Manufacturers Association.

The spaceport site could be selected as soon as this summer and when operational could launch 25 times per year.

A little closer to home, a command center for the launches is also being sought with Battle Creek's Fort Custer in the running for that.