The person behind Canada’s first industrial spaceport says the ability in northeastern Nova Scotia could see its first suborbital test launch sometime early this summer.
Work that began last September on an access road to the launch site near Canso, N.S., is almost complete, Maritime Launch Services CEO Steve Matier said Monday in an interview.
A small, concrete pad will then be poured to accommodate a small-scale launch to send a rocket briefly into space before it falls back to Earth, Matier said, adding that as things stand there’s no rush to set a firm date.
“We won’t put up a pin on a calendar until we’re comfortable that we now have all the pieces mapped out,” he said. “We are going to do it when we will do it right.”
Maritime Launch Services desires to help corporations send satellites into space for things like environmental monitoring, Earth statement, imaging, and broadband and telecommunications delivery.
The corporate signed an agreement last yr with Montreal-based Response Dynamics, an organization that works on hybrid propulsion _ a system that uses a minimum of two propulsion sources _ and is developing a suborbital launcher, Matier said.
The CEO added that apart from Response Dynamics, his company can also be taking a look at rocket launches built inside the tutorial sector.
“We will not be pressuring (Response Dynamics) to go too fast ? so we’re also taking a look at another alternatives throughout the country, among the universities which have suborbital (launchers),” Matier said.
Meanwhile, the federal government said last week that it should develop the regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions for satellite space launches from Canada inside the subsequent three years. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government would approve space launches over the interim period on a case-by-case basis.
Matier, who was in Montreal for the federal announcement, said Ottawa’s plan matches his company’s strategy.
“We’ve been working with them behind the scenes for a very long time, but to now have them publicly come out and state their support for (a) rocket launch from Canada is absolutely a crucial a part of the continuing momentum that we’ve been constructing,” he said.
Canada has existing regulations for suborbital launches dating back to when testing and research was carried out at the previous Churchill Rocket Range in Manitoba, which operated between 1957 and 1985.
Matier said his company is planning to conduct its first industrial launch in 2025, using a bigger Ukrainian-made rocket, adding that he has plans to scale as much as eight to 10 launches a yr soon after.
He said co-operation continues with the makers of the Cyclone-4M rocket, who’re based in Dnipro, Ukraine. Despite the continuing war in that country, the primary stage of the rocket _ developed by Yuzhnoye SDO and manufacturer Yuzhmash _ was used for an Antares rocket launch in the USA in November.
Maritime Launch Services received construction approval from the Nova Scotia government in August of last yr after it met the vital environmental assessment terms and conditions set out in 2019 by the province.
The corporate also signed a 20-year Crown land lease for the ability, situated on 135 hectares near Canso and the communities of Dover and Hazel Hill. There’s an option for a 20-year renewal based on the corporate’s compliance with the province’s terms and conditions.
In November 2021, the corporate revealed preliminary designs for a launch-control centre in addition to a visitor and academic centre.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023.
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