Canadian space agency builds commercial space tourism craft

The Canadian space agency will use it as a launching pad for its own satellites in the fall, but its first tenant will be from Telesat A Canadian space agency is set to test…

Canadian space agency builds commercial space tourism craft

The Canadian space agency will use it as a launching pad for its own satellites in the fall, but its first tenant will be from Telesat

A Canadian space agency is set to test a commercial space tourism vehicle as it looks to being a launch pad for its own satellites for the next two years.

The Canadian Space Agency is behind the building of a small commercial ship dubbed StarrySky that has a payload of 10 small cubesats to be launched in Nova Scotia during the fall, to take the first flights of its starbound service.

Launch site approved for US commercial human spaceflight Read more

Telesat Canada, a company that aims to bring low-cost satellite communications to remote locations around the world, will take one of the missions, on board the StarrySky Space Transport craft.

Under licence from the United States Air Force, the StarrySky will be able to fly low to the earth’s atmosphere, during the daytime. It will likely get space tourism kits and instruments which will give private citizens aboard pictures and information about the earth.

Telesat said the launch will be about 1,000km high and the passes will be a few minutes each. The rockets are designed to be low cost because they will only burn up in the atmosphere, acting like a parachute to bring the payload home.

Telesat Canada said its satellites will keep the company in constant communication with its customers and to plan future flights. Telesat Canada is also part of the Canada-US space partnership, which gives Canada satellite launch control over other countries as well.

StarrySky will be one of the first commercial space tourism vehicles. Photograph: StarrySky/AP

“StarrySky is a novel and exciting way for us to bring Canada’s communications solutions to remote communities around the world and enrich our customers’ lives with scientific and commercial data,” said Telesat Canada president Robin Dunn.

StarrySky will be the first launch site to launch payloads under a US military contract, said the Canadian Space Agency. The US Air Force did not provide details of its future contract.

As the vehicle is in the early testing stages, the launch may be limited to using Telesat’s first payload for the StarrySky.

The StarrySky Space Transport launch services from the Breakaway Launch Facility at the Reynolds Flight Centre, located near Errol on the southern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Photograph: StarrySky/AP

The space agency said the StarrySky design team is in process to consider adding a propulsion system and another mission which will take more cubesats for research.

“As we develop more of the payload functionality and instrumentation for StarrySky we are working closely with this customer to assure we have a payload that meets their overall mission objectives,” said Space Agency director, Peter Hughes.

Telesat said having a launch base in the US increases the geographical reach of its service.

Leave a Comment