Together, the Launch Canada Rocketry Association and Arbalest Rocketry will conduct a student-led demonstration launch of an amateur rocket at the site of Canada’s first commercial spaceport, Spaceport Nova Scotia, which is currently under development by Maritime Launch Services Inc. (NEO:MAXQ, OTCQB:MAXQF).
The Launch Canada Rocketry Association is a nonprofit with a mission to support and help advance the science, engineering and business of rocketry and space launch in Canada, and to use the excitement of rocketry to educate both students and the general public in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Launch Canada supports over 1000 students nationwide from over 25 universities and colleges, uniting Canadian academia, industry and government with the aim to promote Canada's full innovative potential and secure its place for years to come as a front running space fairing nation.
Arbalest Rocketry, York University's rocketry team, successfully launched their bespoke rocket at Canada’s first-ever major national rocketry competition – the Launch Canada Challenge – held at Cochrane, Ontario in August 2022. The Arbalest team is now ready to fly their next-generation rocket to an altitude of over 25 km. Classified as an amateur high-powered rocket, the vehicle's capabilities will bring the Arbalest team a step closer to space.
“There are not many places in Canada that can accommodate a high-altitude rocket launch like this, including our Ontario location”, says Adam Trumpour, President of Launch Canada. “Spaceport Nova Scotia is uniquely positioned and the perfect place for our demonstration launch, as it is the site of Canada’s first regulated commercial spaceport. We are thrilled that Maritime Launch supported the opportunity to host our launch and showcase the beautiful communities surrounding the spaceport”.
Student rocketry has become the largest area of university student space-related activity in the country, and the excitement of the new commercial "space race" has been drawing Canadians to pursue education and careers in STEM like never before. Launch Canada provides students with unparalleled real-world opportunities for hands-on learning to be safe and successful, and to become tomorrow's industry leaders.
"This is an incredible moment in our educational journey. This launch represents an opportunity to perform rocketry at a level comparable to commercial industry, preparing us for our future careers in the Canadian space industry,” says Andreas Tryphonopoulos, team lead for Arbalest Rocketry. “To launch from Spaceport Nova Scotia, we have the opportunity to prepare a launch that is similar to that of larger commercial launches. With the participation of Launch Canada and Maritime Launch supporting us, we're no longer just launching from Canada but with Canada. It's an invitation to be a part of the Canadian space community at large."
At last year’s Launch Canada Challenge, students had the opportunity to demonstrate their engineering skills and fly advanced rockets. Launch Canada was thrilled to have Maritime Launch Services’ Director of Safety and CTO Yaroslav Pustovyi at the event to serve as a competition judge and mentor to the students.
“Hosting these passionate students at this site will not only create opportunities for Canadians that have never existed before, it will highlight Nova Scotia's emerging prominence as a space launch technology hub in Canada”, says Stephen Matier, President and CEO, Maritime Launch. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Launch Canada and Arbalest Rocketry for this demonstration. These students could be members of our workforce in the coming years, and we are delighted to support their education and, in addition, take advantage of their visit to showcase the beautiful communities of Canso, Hazel Hill and Little Dover. This demonstration provides our team with the opportunity to exercise many of the characteristics that will be employed for future launches through coordination of site logistics, public safety, and the management of airspace.”
The event, currently planned for the first week of July, is organized by Launch Canada with the close collaboration and support of the Maritime Launch team. This launch is distinctly different from Maritime Launch's future orbital launch operations and falls under the category of hobby or amateur rocketry implemented under Transport Canada's existing regulations for launching amateur rockets in Canada.
On January 20th, 2023, the Government of Canada announced their support for commercial launch activities in Canada and is undertaking a consultation to modernize the current regulatory framework for space launch.