Thursday, January 31, 2008

Canada's east coast space base may land ISS contract

PlanetSpace, a Canada/US hybrid company hoping to launch rockets into space from Cape Breton, will find out early next month if it has landed a contract to launch cargo and equipment to the International Space Station.

NASA will announce Feb. 8 the successful bidder for the $174.7-million contract. PlanetSpace, an American-Canadian aeronautics company, is working to launch a demonstration cargo spacecraft named the Silver Dart to low-earth orbit from Cape Breton by late next year.

There are at least four other competitors for the contract to act as a transporter to and from the space station. PlanetSpace is looking at two unnamed sites in Cape Breton to build a spaceport. One is believed to be an area near Alder Point while the other is located near Louisbourg.

The Nova Scotia government is willing to give the company Crown land to develop the launch site.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is in talks with PlanetSpace but the provincial agency says it’s not in a position to comment until a deal is finalized.

Graphic: PlanetSpace

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