14:49 16.03.2017

Canada's MLS to start by 2020 commercial launches of satellites with Ukrainian Cyclone 4M

Canada's Maritime Launch Services Ltd. (MLS) plans in 2020 to start commercial launches of satellites with the Cyclone 4M orbital launch vehicle from Ukraine.

"The preferred site is located in the Guysborough Municipality near Canso and Hazel Hill in Nova Scotia, Canada and would host a commercial launch complex," MLS said in a press release.

An exhaustive review was conducted which assessed 14 potential locations over the last year. "The criteria evaluated through the study included access to polar/sun synchronous orbit, very low population density, proximity to multimodal transportation, and interest from the community, province and government," the press release said.

John Isella, CEO of MLS, said: "While we have a number of challenges ahead to work through the regulatory processes, approvals and site planning, we are optimistic that we can break ground on the launch complex within a year and meet market demands with our first launch in 2020."

MLS plans to achieve a launch rate of eight per year by 2022.

"The timing is perfect for this venture. Ukraine's independent space industry, and the solid market for these launch services all add to our confidence in this program. The Cyclone 4M rocket will become the standard of the medium class space launch industry," he said.

Initial funding was obtained in 2016 from United PARADYNE Corporation (UPC) in Santa Maria, CA.

"Building on the historically close ties between Canada and Ukraine, and addressing the satellite constellation launch market with an all Ukrainian medium class (3,350kg to SSO) launch service targeted at $45 million USD, are a few of the fundamental strengths of this program," Isella added.

MLS said its key partners under this project are Yuzhnoye (Pivdenne) and Yuzhmash (Pivdenmash) in Ukraine.

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