Canada joins the space race

The federal government wants to get into the space race, announcing plans to support a domestic rocket launch industry.

What happened: Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government wants to dramatically expand Canada’s capacity to launch rockets over the next three years. 

  • That will require an overhaul of regulations and licensing rules for the industry, which the feds are aiming to complete over the next three years. Watch this space!

Why it’s happening: The private space sector is growing quickly, and demand for launch sites is booming. 

  • Telecoms are racing to put internet-beaming satellite networks into orbit, but Canadian space companies often have to use foreign launch sites to get their gear into orbit.
  • The private space launch sector is expected to be worth over US$30 billion by 2029.

Why it matters: The boom is good news for Canada, which has some prime real estate for rocket launches.

  • Long coastlines and sparsely populated lands offer the seclusion needed for rocket launches, while northern latitudes provide easier access to the north-to-south orbits ideal for global satellite coverage.

Zoom out: Canada’s first spaceport is being built by Maritime Launch Services in Canso, Nova Scotia and is expected to host suborbital demonstration launches by the end of the year.