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What's The Story?

Located past the Copper Harbor, the Keweenaw rocket launch site was an isolated launch pad. It was used between 1964 and 1971 for launching rockets for meteorological data collection. NASA along with the University of Michigan conducted the project under the lead of Dr. Harold Allen. The site was one of six other similar ones scattered around North America that were to collect measurements of electron density, positive ion composition and distribution, energetic electron precipitation, solar X-rays, and Lyman alpha flux.

The facility originally consisted only a small launch pad and a few metal shacks, but as the site serviced larger and more powerful rockets the facility was updated and expanded. At its height this range featured a multitude of tracking equipment, a mobile control center, equipment trailers, rocket assembly and storage building, along with a large concrete launch pad complete with gantry.

Directions

Follow US41 to its northern most tip in Copper Harbor and continue on to Mandan Road (a seasonal road) for about 5 miles. Condition of Mandan Road has improved significantly since my first attempt in 2004 and any automobile with a 6-8 inch clearing can easily survive (when driven slowly).

At the 5 mile mark, make a left on to High Rock Bay Road (aka Snow Mobile Hwy 134) and continue for about 2.5 miles. The first half a mile is automobile-friendly but the last two are quite treacherous and require 4WD/ATV (or hiking). At the 2.5 mile mark, keep to the left fork and follow it for about 0.6 miles to arrive at the Keweenaw Rocket Range.

In spite of the improvement in conditions (thanks to logging activities), both Mandan Road & High Rock Bay Road can be found rutted, pitted, and flooded in places.

Thanks!

Russell Lutch for the information about this historic site.

In a 10 mile neighborhood ...

  1. High Rock Bay
  2. Thimbleberry
  3. Keystone Bay
  4. Horseshoe Harbor
  5. Keweenaw Petroglyphs
  6. Fat Tire Festival
  7. Manganese Falls
  8. Bare Bluff
  9. Bell's Beer Copper Harbor Trails Festival
  10. Lake Fanny Hooe

Keweenaw Rocket Range
Rocket Range Trail, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, USA


Archive ID
Date/Time
Location
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Focal Length
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ISO
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n2c_111-4437
2011-08-01 16:16:22 -0400
47.43028 N, -87.71491 E, 620 ft
NIKON D200
AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
10.5 mm (35 mm equivalent: 15.0 mm)
Aperture-priority AE
1/500 second(s)
f/11.0
200
0
No
None
14.9
0.48 m
1.33 m
inf (0.35 m - inf)
99.9 deg (3.18 m)
No
±2 stop bracket and HDR [tone-mapped JPEG] image generated with Photomatix Pro