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StFX to support construction of commercial space launch site in Canso, N.S.

Stephen Matier, president of Maritime Launch Services, talks with reporters at a meeting of the proposed Spaceport project team,in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.
Stephen Matier, president of Maritime Launch Services, talks with reporters at a meeting of the proposed Spaceport project team,in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. will sign a memorandum of understanding with Maritime Launch Services Ltd. on Friday that will voice support for the construction of a private commercial space launch site in Nova Scotia.

Maritime Launch Services (MLS), a Canadian space transport services company, has proposed to construct and operate a private commercial space launch site for launching satellites into low Earth orbit.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia spaceport teams with U.S. firm to examine reuse of rockets in space

According to StFX, the purpose of the project is to establish a commercially-controlled, commercially-managed, launch site that would provide options in North America in support of the growing commercial space transportation industry.

In support of the project, the university said in a media release on Thursday that it is “committed to the pursuit of research and creative works, ultimately contributing to academic discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, providing a lasting positive impact to the community.”

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“It is StFX’s vision to be a leader among Canada’s undergraduate universities for its research and creative contributions to student experience, community collaboration, social responsibility and growth opportunities,” said Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX vice president of research and graduate studies in a media release.

“This agreement certainly fits within that vision. Our faculty and staff will explore new and exciting research. We are also enthusiastic about the new opportunities that this presents for student employment here in rural Nova Scotia in knowledge-based careers that diversify the rural economy.”

READ MORE: Proposed Nova Scotia spaceport gets conditional environmental approval

Possible opportunities for research are in the areas of computer sciences, chemical analysis, environmental monitoring and aquatic resources to name a few, according to StFX.

The proposed site for MLS is located in Canso, Nova Scotia, only an hour drive from StFX.