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article imageCanso, Nova Scotia chosen for Canada's first rocket launch site

By Karen Graham     Mar 14, 2017 in Technology
A small rural community near Canso and Hazel Hill on Nova Scotia's eastern coast has been chosen by Maritime Launch Services Ltd as the location for a launch facility. Once completed, the complex will be used to launch satellites into space.
Last month, MLS president Steve Mathier told Radio Canada International the company has looked at a number of potential sites in Mexico, the US, and Canada, but noted the Canso site has advantages, like being close to infrastructure while having a safe buffer zone from population areas.
The main point in considering the Nova Scotia site is that it would have the right trajectory for the launch of satellites out over the ocean, said Mathier. "And it's pretty much a free shot over the water," he said. The land is available for lease and the company will need approval from both the provincial and federal governments.
Canso  Nova Scotia  Canada  as seen returning from Grassy Island.
Canso, Nova Scotia, Canada, as seen returning from Grassy Island.
On Tuesday, CTV News came out with the news that MLS has officially chosen the Canso - Hazel Hill site for its launch facility, with the company saying it is committed to establishing the launch complex at the location in Guysborough Municipality after an assessment of 14 locations in North America.
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The $100 million launch facility's boost to the economy
When construction is complete, the complex will include a launch pad and a processing facility, which would be about two kilometers (1.3 miles) apart from each other, connected by a transportation hub. MLS will employee between 30 to 50 people between launches and hundreds more prior to and during launches.
MLS also says the facility would add to the area economy while generating substantial resources as a tourist attraction, especially during launches. The company expects to have as many as eight launches a year from the facility as the communication satellite industry continues to grow.
The Yuzhnoye Cyclone 4M rocket
In September 2016, the Yuzhnoye Design Office in Dnipro, Ukraine announced it had been given formal approval by the State Space Agency to proceed with a new international launch complex and operations in North America based on its existing Cyclone M4 Rocket.
Cyclone M4 rocket is one of the world s most reliable launch vehicles.
Cyclone M4 rocket is one of the world's most reliable launch vehicles.
This was a big step forward, not only in strengthening ties between Canada and Ukraine but in opening up the North American market for Yuzhnoye. A target price of $45 million per launch is being suggested with a payload of up to 3,350 kilograms (7,385 pounds) allowed. The rocket is also suitable for sun synchronous orbit applications.
The Cyclone 4M's reliability is based on a history of 221 successful launches of the Cyclone family and well over 875 missions of other launchers designed by Yuzhnoye and built by Yuzhmash. The company has a strong industrial base and has supported other commercial customers, including NASA’s International Space Station program, Sea Launch, and others.
More about Maritime launch services, canso nova scotia, Commercial satellite launches, Ukrainianbuilt rocket, launch facility
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