Will satellites soon be lifting off from B.C.?

By Dan Catchpole

Vancouver Island could have its own launch facility for sending satellites into orbit.

A Canadian company, Space Launch Canada, which has promoted that idea, recently signed a contract with the Center for Aerospace Research at the University of Victoria to build three satellites, the last of which could be launched from a dedicated facility on Vancouver Island.

The contract is “phase 1 in Space Launch Canada’s campaign toward its final objective: to start the first orbital launches from Canada, and to do so from Vancouver Island, B.C.,” the company’s director, Redouane Fakir, said in an email to The Daily Herald.

The company has promoted putting a launch facility on Vancouver Island since 2011.

The Alberni Valley News reports that the satellites will be able to take high-resolution photos for educational uses.

The first satellite is to be launched outside Canada, the second from an offshore launch platform (such as the L/P Odyssey, a converted drilling platform) and the third from a facility built on Canada’s West Coast.

The first mission is scheduled to launch within two years, Redouane Fakir, Space Launch Canada’s director, told the paper.