Canada will finally have its own spaceport courtesy of private space corporation Maritime Launch Services. The company plans to start building (PDF) the facility next year in an isolated town on Nova Scotia’s eastern coast. It decided on the site after assessing 14 different candidates. The town’s and surrounding areas’ low population density and the fact that rockets launching from the spaceport will fly over a large body of water make it the perfect location.
The spaceport is a commercial venture between MLS and a Ukrainian firm — there’s no government funding involved at all. MLS wants the first launch to happen as soon as 2020, and it wants to the spaceport to host as many as eight launches per year by 2022. Most of those missions will involve Ukrainian-built Cyclone 4M rockets, and it’s unclear if Canada’s space agency and other private space companies can use it. If the agency can, then it’ll no longer have to ship rockets to Virginia. For now, the company is working on getting federal and provincial approval so it can break ground and start with the spaceport’s construction.