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Canada wants to encourage private space launches

While the United States is responsible for the vast majority of commercial space launch activities, Canada is sick of sitting on the sidelines and wants in: Federal transport officials have stated their intention to back future commercial space missions.

In a “case-by-case” approach, Canada plans to begin conducting commercial launch operations as soon as possible, utilising the current regulatory framework to determine when, where, and how these launches will occur. During those three years, Transport Canada plans to collaborate with other applicable federal agencies and authorities to develop a framework tailored to the needs of today’s space launch operations in the nation.

It’s not like Canada isn’t involved in the space industry now; in fact, Transport Canada estimates that aerospace commercial activity will add over $22 billion to GDP in 2020. Canada feels it is geographically and strategically well-positioned to profit on the growing commercial launch industry.

Canadian firms like SpaceRyde, which sends miniature rockets up in balloons to reach low-Earth orbit, are exploring the feasibility of launching such payloads from the country. However, by liberalising commercial activity, Canada may be able to attract current commercial launch organisations like SpaceX and Rocket Lab, as well as new firms wanting to join their ranks, providing an extra take-off option for North American countries.