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article imageNova Scotia spaceport construction delayed until next year

By Karen Graham     May 21, 2018 in Technology
Halifax - Maritime Launch Services Ltd. president and CEO Stephen Matier, following meetings at the proposed rocket launch site near Canso, Nova Scotia, said the construction of Canada's only commercial spaceport has been pushed back.
Matier said his company had hoped to break ground this month on the $200 million project. However, he now says the launch site near Canso, N.S. won't start being developed until later this year, saying he was hesitant to impose any new deadline, reports CTV News Canada.
"As part of the process, I try to move things along. But the process is the process. There are 12 months of data collection. There's a report that has to be written. There's a review process that has to happen," said Matier in a phone interview at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, where he was waiting for a flight back to his home in New Mexico.
"I can hope for things, but the real take away is that we are absolutely following all of the processes as they're laid out."
The spaceport is a private-sector venture, but there are quite a few regulations that have to be addressed, including a provincial environmental assessment, which will be submitted within the next month. This report will go to Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Department as part of the land lease application, according to CBC Canada.
"The environmental assessment) is the real big key piece for us," he said, adding that the review process takes around 50 days. There are also a number of regulatory approvals still needed for launch procedures, and Matier said good progress has been made.
Maritime Launch Services Ltd.
"If all the regulatory approvals go well, then we'll be able to get the land lease application finalized and everything ready to go so we actually have control of the property so that we can actually do the groundbreaking we want to do to get things started a little later this summer or early this fall."
The good thing is that Matier is still aiming for the first round of satellite launches to begin in 2021 and 2022. Thereafter, the company plans on launching about 12 satellites a year into space.
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 employ between 30 to 50 people between launches and hundreds more prior to and during launches.
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