Canada wants to help launch commercial space • TechCrunch

While much of the commercial space launch is happening just south of its border, Canada is tired of watching and wants to get in on the action: the federal Department of Transportation announced that it intends to support commercial space launches in the near future.

The plan for Canada is to push for commercial launch activities to begin essentially immediately on a “case-by-case basis,” using the existing regulatory framework to govern how, where and when. where the launches took place. That particular approach is expected to last approximately three years, with Transport Canada intended to spend that time working with other relevant federal and regulatory agencies to create a specific framework for modern domestic space launch activities.

It’s not that Canada hasn’t joined the space economy yet: In contrast, Transport Canada says commercial spaceflight contributed more than $22 billion to GDP to the country’s economy in 2020. The commercial launch sector is clearly heating up, however, and Canada believes it has a good geographical and strategic position to capitalize on.

Currently, several startups in the country are testing the ability to launch small payloads from Canada, including SpaceRyde, which uses small rockets mounted on balloons to make the relatively short trip to low Earth orbit. But expanding commercial operations more widely could help Canada attract existing commercial launch entities, including SpaceX, Rocket Lab and others looking to join their ranks, as a additional take-off options in North America.

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