Canadian Space Agency considers building ROCKETS

This is exciting news, the CSA is thinking of building rockets to get into space. Life is really all about bigger and better rockets.

Right now we sometimes depend on India and Russia to launch stuff into space. How awful. We could do way better. There's no reason we can't, this tech is forty years old. More homegrown space businesses will create more jobs in Canada.

Officials consider building Canadian rocket (external - login to view)

Officials consider building Canadian rocket

By David Pugliese, Postmedia News Jan 3, 2011

A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket waits to carry a Canadian telecommunications satellite into space in September 2005.

Photograph by: Files//AFP/Getty Images

Canada has the technological capacity to build its own rocket to launch small satellites, officials and documents have revealed, highlighting a top priority for future research at the Defence Department as well as something that’s being studied at the Canadian Space Agency.

Canada currently relies on other countries, such as the United States, India and Russia, to launch its spacecraft into orbit, but both the Defence Department and the space agency are looking at the option of constructing a Canadian-made launcher.

The Defence Department’s science organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), is now examining what would be needed for a small rocket as well as looking at different potential mission scenarios.

A 2009 briefing package produced by the military’s chief of force development said the creation of a launcher for small satellites was a key area of focus for the Defence Department’s future research and development.

The Canadian Space Agency is also studying the possibility and is co-operating with DRDC’s scientists.
“One option currently being evaluated relates to the development of an indigenous launch capability for certain classes of satellites,”

Julie Simard, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Space Agency said in an email.

CSA has already done two studies on whether such a venture is possible.

“Those studies concluded that, although challenging, developing a launch capability in Canada was technically feasible,” Ms. Simard said. “At this time, further analyses are required to thoroughly assess the implication of undertaking this activity in Canada. Should these analyses prove favourable, funds would be sought to initiate this development.”

Kevin Shortt, president of the Canadian Space Society, an advocacy group, said the idea of a made-in-Canada capacity to launch satellites and other spacecraft into orbit has been talked about for decades.

While others have argued that Canada doesn’t launch enough spacecraft to warrant such a capability, Shortt said he believes there is an opportunity to develop a niche market to sell launches for small satellites to other nations. Canada’s geographic location is ideal for certain launches, such as for polar orbits, he said.

Mr. Shortt pointed out that sub-orbital launches used to take place at Churchill, Man., and that site could be used for orbital launches.
Canada’s Bristol Aerospace builds the Black Brant rocket that has been used for such sub-orbital flights. More than 800 of the rockets have been launched since 1962, when their manufacturing began, according to
NASA is one of the more frequent users of the rocket.

Mr. Shortt said there is still a reluctance in some areas of government about the development of a domestic launch capability.
However, he said the Defence Department is a very strong proponent of homegrown launch capability.

“They want to have a launch capability that enables them to have control over where and when they launch [their satellites.”

The Defence Department has also focused on the development of smaller satellites, known as micro and nano-sats. Having a homegrown rocket to launch such spacecraft in the future appeals to the military, Mr. Shortt said.

DRDC has been involved in the development of micro-satellites for such missions as tracking objects in space and monitoring the movement of vessels heading toward Canada.

The Canadian Space Agency is focusing possible plans for local launches on satellites that are about 150 kilograms.
In a previous interview, Robert Zee, who heads University of Toronto’s space-flight laboratory, said Canada is more than capable of building a rocket to put small spacecraft into orbit.

“As to whether it would have sufficient political backing to see it all the way through to completion, that’s another thing,” he has said.
Canadian Space Agency officials have said that a full-scale project to design and build a launcher could take between 10 to 12 years.

lone wolf
By Gar we got enough beer 'n' Bics the make 'er go too!...
no new posts