The Daily Mining Gazette, November 22, 1965

Submitted by Kevin on Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:13



A series of disappointments have accrued to the University of Michigan-Michigan Technological University sponsored rocket project set to take place at Keweenaw Point.

The first of four rockets was to have been sent aloft Wednesday but inclement weather which brought snow, cold, sleet and ice made the work plainly inopportune. Stationed in Copper Harbor awaiting the proper time for the four rocket firing are Dr. Harold Allen, director, and in charge of such projects for the University of Michigan, President Malcomb Ross of Space Defense Corporation and Rick Lane of the U.S. Navy, Minneapolis area. The latter has brought to the Copper Country a complete instrumented truck which will be used in communications and tracking.

Mike Brian and Lenard Williams, also of Space Defense, are in the area as is Guy Snyder, communications officer for Keweenaw Air Base at Gratiot Lake.

The jeep used to negotiate the distance between Copper Harbor and the Point is the property of Michigan Tech under arrangement with the Army from the Keweenaw Field Station.

Gathered at Copper Harbor and the Point Saturday were such representatives of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, University of Michigan, Michigan Tech and allied units.

Because of the bad weather it was impossible to fire the missiles. On Saturday the drum raft in Copper Harbor was equipped with funnels to contain the to be launched rockets.

It was anticipated Sunday that this might be the firing day but adverse weather also forced still another postponement.

The road to the Point is in poor condition. A total of 21 potholes filled with water were counted. Frequently, it was necessary for the conveyances to abandon the road and move off to the side to avoid getting mired in the mud.

Dr. Allen indicated Saturday that it is the road which may hold up development of the missile site in the days to come. Space Defense President Malcom Ross bolstered the doctor’s statement and indicated this is one of the bad features of Keweenaw County.

Both men praised the area highly and especially the location at the Point. They said it was one of the most appropriate locations either of them has come across in rocket endeavors.

Manitou Island was easy to perceive Saturday despite the rain, darkness and periodic snow of the time.

Last minute inquiries this morning revealed that the Coast Guard 40 footer is not as yet to depart for Copper Harbor to tow the drum raft to the Point. Adverse weather unsuitable for tracking was the cause given.

In the event weather factors improve, the Coast Guard boat will set out for the Harbor on Tuesday and tow the raft to a location between the Point and Manitou Island. The rockets will be set off from this area.

It will be unnecessary for anybody to board the float inasmuch as the firing of the rockets will be through actuation on the mainland.


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