Canada will finally allow private companies to launch satellites and space technologies on Canadian soil. They have already been introduced, especially in the USA and Europe.
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Like Buzz Lightyear, a space toy robot in the animated film Toy Story, Canadian companies can now “see far, far away!” and compete with foreign companies that are benefiting from more lenient regulations.
Ottawa announced to the Canadian Space Agency on Friday that it would modernize its regulatory framework to allow spacecraft to be launched for commercial purposes on Canadian territory.
“Canada can potentially do well. Demand in Canada could come from private companies wanting to launch satellites, from countries that don’t have a company that launches satellites or that the country doesn’t authorize, and from our own Canadian government. It can be military, civil government, commercial and academic satellites that can be launched here,” says Miguel Ouellette, economist at Euroconsult.
“We are talking about a $400 billion global satellite market over the next 10 years and 24,500 satellites to be launched over that period. More than five times what we’ve brought to market in the last decade. That’s a lot, that’s 2,500 satellites launched per year for 10 years! “, he adds.
Compete with Elon Musk
Space technologies brought into Earth orbit are in high demand in most sectors including transport, services and telecommunications. Canadian and international advocates have expressed interest in conducting commercial spacecraft launch activities from Canada.
“Currently, telecom companies like Bell use satellites from Canadian companies like Telesat, but those satellites are being launched in the United States or elsewhere. It is therefore an opportunity to encourage launches on Canadian soil,” says Miguel Ouellette.
There is a strong demand to orbit various space technologies that have become indispensable in several economic sectors. Ottawa wants to meet these needs while also monitoring the activity and making sure it is safe and environmentally responsible.
“We must not forget that Canada will face serious competition. Let’s think of the United States and in particular Space X, owned by Elon Musk. We have just modernized our regulatory framework in Canada while our neighbors to the south have been winning demand for years! We definitely have to work hard in the corners and private companies have to innovate,” says Miguel Ouellette.
Today’s announcement was made by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. He was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport, Annie Koutrakis, MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount, Marc Garneau, and the President of the Canadian Space Agency, Lisa Campbell.