Could Canada’s Future Include Launching Rockets to Orbit?

There’s an effort underway by a new company called Open Space Orbital to raise funds to build Canada’s first small satellite launcher which would be based out of Nova Scotia.

It’s a long shot but does have a credible Board of Directors. Currently they’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to raise an initial $100,000.

With the funds they will do the following:

  • Prototype Development Project (PDP): Our first small rocket engine will be designed and assembled internal to Open Space and test key design concepts on a small scale. Outsourcing, particularly regarding the engine’s nozzle, will be deferred to one of the Canada-based aerospace composite manufacturers competing for the contract. 
  • Preliminary Launch Vehicle Design: In partnership with Continuum Aerospace, a preliminary design of our first mission-ready launch vehicle (whose normal configuration will demonstrate a maximum payload capacity of 50 kg) will be completed and considered for our first full scale rocket. 
  • Business Development: Planning is important. In partnership with CFC Consultants (Atlantic), we will be performing strategic refinements to Open Space’s business plan, concentrating primarily on tactical planning, funding requirements and communications strategies. The main objective of completing these refinements is to prepare Open Space for investment of any kind – commercial and governmental. 
  • Market Analysis: To gain an intellectual edge over international competitors, a Canada-specific market analysis will be completed by Rogue Thought Consulting, particularly Norman Deschamps, who received a Master’s in microsatellite design before founding RGC. This report will detail the market’s current status and future trends on a nation-specific basis, expected market and regulatory hurdles, the potential for new satellite manufacturing companies and universities to enter the industry alongside a low cost, domestic launch solution, and a survey of Canadian satellite manufacturers and academic/commercial aerospace programs pertaining to the impact that our solution would have on their goals and operations.
I wrote a story for SpaceRef Canada on their efforts which goes into more detail.