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Commercial space launches in Canada? Minister to make ‘important’ announcement

Click to play video: 'How the private space race is allowing NASA to explore new frontiers'
How the private space race is allowing NASA to explore new frontiers
WATCH ABOVE: How the private space race is allowing NASA to explore new frontiers – Dec 9, 2021

Could Canada soon become a launching pad for commercial space flights? We will know Friday morning as the transport ministry holds an “important announcement about commercial space launches in Canada.”

The announcement, expected at 9:30 a.m. EST, will include Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Quebec MP Marc Garneau and other officials.

The president of the Canadian Space Agency, Lisa Campbell, will also be in attendance, along with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Space Canada CEO Brian Gallant. The event will take place at the Canadian Space Agency, located outside of Montreal.

The event will be streaming live from Alghabra’s Facebook page on Friday morning, according to his office.

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Commercial space flights have been picking up steam in the last few years as private companies have developed their own rockets. Elon Musk’s SpaceX was the first private company to be contracted by NASA to aid its missions, and other billionaires have joined the space race as well, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which have offered commercial space flights to paying participants.

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It is not clear if the announcement will centre around pleasure or business reasons for going into space. Canada has become more involved in space exploration missions recently, with Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen joining the Artemis II crew on a mission to the Moon’s orbit, expected to launch in 2024.

Canadian businessman and philanthropist Mark Pathy was also on board the first-ever fully commercial space launch to the International Space Station by Houston-based startup Axiom Space in April 2022.

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