Canso named as site of commercial space-launch complex

Published on March 14, 2017

Maritime Launch Services Cyclone 4M rocket.

©Artist conception: Maritime Launch Services

It looks like Canso will be home to the planet’s next spaceport.
Maritime Launch Services (MLS) Ltd. announced today it has committed to developing a rocket launch site in the Guysborough Municipality, near Canso and Hazel Hill.

In a release, John Isella, CEO of MLS, said, “While we have a number of challenges ahead to work through the regulatory processes, approvals and site planning, we are optimistic that we can break ground on the launch complex within a year and meet market demands with our first launch in 2020.”

The goal for the site is a commercial launch complex for the Ukraine-built Cyclone 4M orbital launch vehicle, with plans aiming for eight launched a year by 2022.

Canso was chosen from 14 possible sites in North America, with factors such as access to polar/sun synchronous orbit, very low population density, proximity to multimodal transportation, and interest from the community, province and government all taken into account.

The release says site visits by MLS and rocket-builders Yuzhnoye and “the enthusiastic support from the community, academia and multiple levels of provincial and federal government” sealed the deal.

Vernon Pitts, Warden of the Municipality of Guysborough said, “We are pleased that Maritime Launch Services has chosen to invest in our community and we look forward to continued dialogue. Since we were first introduced to this development a few months ago we have been impressed with the proponents’ approach, and we will continue to work collaboratively with MLS as the project evolves.”

Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash in Ukraine, the providers of the launch vehicle, have been in operation for 62 years, launched 875 rockets, and built and launched over 400 spacecraft.

“Building on the historically close ties between Canada and Ukraine, and addressing the satellite constellation launch market with an all Ukrainian medium class (3350kg to SSO) launch service targeted at $45 million USD, are a few of the fundamental strengths of this program,” Isella said.