Space launches from Canada will be allowed soon, transport minister says

Canada hopes to leverage its vast geographic and space expertise to position itself as the next global player in commercial space launches.

Transportation Secretary Omar Alghabra announced Friday that the federal government will develop the regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions necessary to enable commercial satellite launches into space from Canada within the next three years.

He told reporters at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Que., that the country was also ready to approve launches during the transition period on a case-by-case basis and that he invited the public Private companies participate in the projects.

Why Canada is a good place to launch satellites

Montreal area congressman and former astronaut Marc Garneau said Canada has a number of geographical advantages when it comes to satellite launch sites, including a large territory, sparse population and plenty of possibilities for highly inclined orbits.

The render shows a white rocket on a launch pad with trees and sky in the background.
A rendering shows the Ukrainian-built Cyclone 4M rocket as it emerges at a proposed launch site in Canso, NS the federal government announced Friday that it will assist with space launches trade from Canada. (Marine launching service)

He said that while Canada has previously launched sub-orbital rockets — going into space and falling back — Canada has yet to make an orbital flight.

Alghabra said a number of companies have expressed interest in launching from Canada, including Maritime Launch, which is planning to build the country’s first spaceport in northeast Nova Scotia.


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