Nova Scotia spaceport signs deal with British rocket startup

Capitalism in space: Maritime Launch Services, the company that is building a spaceport in Nova Scotia, has signed an agreement with the British rocket startup Skyrora, naming its Skyrora-XL rocket as one of the launch providers for that spaceport.

As part of the agreement, Maritime Launch will purchase the vehicles and vehicle support staff from Skyrora for their satellite clients. Spaceport Nova Scotia will provide Skyrora a launch pad, ground and operations support, public safety services, regulatory approvals and mission integration facilities and staff. Skyrora will supply the launch vehicle, mobile launch complex, and launch operations support team to Maritime Launch.

Unlike other new spaceports, Maritime is running Spaceport Nova Scotia a bit differently. Most new spaceports simply provide a launch site for rocket companies. Maritime instead wants to offer satellite companies a full service spaceport, including the rocket. Initially the plan was to use a Ukrainian-built rocket, Cyclone-4M, as part of the service, but the Russian invasion of the Ukraine has made its availability uncertain.

This deal gives Maritime a new option to offer satellite companies. However, the Cyclone-4M was already somewhat tested, as it was an upgrade of the Ukrainian Tsiklon-4 rocket, which has already launched. Skyrora is only a startup, and has not yet flown.

Maritime Launch Services signs land lease for its Nova Scotia spaceport

Capitalism in space: Maritime Launch Services yesterday obtained a 20-year land lease for its Nova Scotia spaceport from the province of Nova Scotia.

The lease covers 334.5 acres, and is renewable for an additional 20 years.

Unlike other spaceports, Maritime isn’t merely providing a launch site for rocket companies. Instead the company will also launch smallsats itself, using a Ukrainian-built rocket dubbed the Cyclone-4M. Initially the plan was to fly all launches in this manner, but the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia has caused Maritime to look for other launch providers as well.