Elm Springs, SD – Located in the midst of endless cornfields and small towns, the Martin Luther Launch Complex is leading the way in both technical innovation and evangelical outreach. The brainchild of the Lutheran Aeronautics and Space Administration (LASA), this state of the art facility is redefining mission work.
“In many regions of the world, conducting traditional mission work is illegal, dangerous, and frankly, impossible,” stated Director of Flight Operations Pastor John Hamilton. “It’s neither wise nor feasible for me to travel to ISIS controlled territory in Syria or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to spread the Gospel. That’s where LASA enters the picture.”
Founded in 1997 by several Lutheran Synods, LASA’s goal is to provide effective outreach capability anywhere on Earth. After purchasing a former missile silo complex in South Dakota, LASA quickly constructed a system of laboratories, launchpads, and blast shielded seminary facilities.
“We accomplish three primary tasks here,” said Pastor Hamilton. “We carry out the research, development, and fabrication of Intercontinental Biblical Missiles (ICBMs), we determine the doctrinally correct payload, and we carry out the physical rocket launches.”
Primarily drawing on current US and Russian missile technology, LASA has developed their own rocket, called the SILAS I. Boasting a range of 9,800 miles and the ability to carry a payload in excess of 800 pounds, the SILAS I can make outreach deliveries worldwide.
“Our theological team does an outstanding job identifying ideally suited, doctrinally sound, clear and concise Scriptural materials for delivery,” added Pastor Hamilton. “Then, the payload specialists pack the materials, the scientists prepare the vehicle and decide the guidance and trajectory information. We are able to complete the entire process from start to finish in only twenty-two days.”
Due to donations of money, materials, and traditional Lutheran frugality, the total cost of each launch is only $4.5 million. To date, LASA has carried out over 52 successful launches to 28 different countries.
“We’ve been blessed with tremendous success,” said Pastor Hamilton. “We’ve had the privilege of delivering the saving news of the Gospel to millions of people in countries like Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.”
The next step for LASA is much more ambitious: interstellar mission work. Pastor Hamilton confirmed that the research and development staff at LASA are in the early stages of developing a vehicle to escape earth orbit to carry God’s Word into the cosmos.
“This is our most ambitious project to date,” he said, “but look at how God has blessed our efforts thus far! We look forward to this next step in our mission.”Want the latest news? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!