Canada strengthens ties with Ukraine through N.S. spaceport construction
October 30, 2021
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Nova Scotia will soon see the construction of a new spaceport that would host a commercial launch complex for the Cyclone 4M orbital launch vehicle from Ukraine.
“Building on the historically close ties between Canada and Ukraine and addressing the satellite constellation launch market with an all-Ukrainian medium class launch service are a few of the fundamental strengths of this program,” John Isella, CEO of Maritime Launch Services (MLS) Ltd, said.
With the very first launch scheduled for 2023, MLS will utilize the well-proven Cyclone 4M rocket family to help clients reach polar or sun-synchronous orbits – the fastest-growing sector in Canada’s space industry today, and forge Canada’s increased leadership in the international aerospace community.
On Oct. 19, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Strategic Industry Oleh Urusky discussed the details of the spaceport project’s implementation with President and CEO of MLS Stephen Matier.
Matier said that there are already preliminary agreements with U.S. companies to launch their satellites with the Ukrainian Cyclone-4M launch vehicle, and the first launch is scheduled for approximately the end of 2023.
In turn, the deputy prime minister said that the Ministry of Strategic Industry, within the limits of its powers, is ready to assist the enterprises of the space industry of Ukraine in the implementation of this spaceport project.
Maritime Launch Services (MLS) Ltd., established in Halifax, conducted an exhaustive review of 14 prospective sites for the spaceport across North America over the last year. The criteria evaluated through the study included access to polar/sun synchronous orbit, very low population density, proximity to multimodal transportation, and interest from the community, province and government. The company chose the preferred site in the Guysborough Municipality near Canso and Hazel Hill in Nova Scotia.
“The timing is perfect for this venture,” Isella said. “Ukraine’s independent space industry, and the solid market for these launch services all add to our confidence in this spaceport program. The Cyclone 4M rocket will become the standard of the medium class space launch industry.”
With the growing global demand for space launch services, MLS will bring the mature space launch technology of Pivdenne and Pivdenmash in Ukraine to Nova Scotia. Pivdenne and Pivdenmash 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.
Recent site visits and meetings in Nova Scotia and Ottawa, Ontario by a delegation from MLS and Pivdenne were decisive in the final site selection in large part due to the enthusiastic support from the community, academia and multiple levels of provincial and federal government.
“We are pleased that Maritime Launch Services has chosen to invest in our community, and we look forward to continued dialogue,” Warden of the Municipality of Guysborough Vernon Pitts said. “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.”
Ukrainian enterprises Pivdenne Design Bureau and Production Association Pivdenne Machine-Building Plant are taking part in the project.
This article is written under the Local Journalism Initiative agreement