Construction of Canadian Launch Complex Delayed

Cyclone 4M booster

Construction of a spaceport in Nova Scotia where Ukrainian Cyclone 4M boosters would be launched has been delayed.

Stephen Matier, president of Maritime Launch Services, had hoped to break ground this month on the $200-million project on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.

But Matier now says the rocket launch site in Canso likely won’t start being developed until later this year — although he was hesitant to impose any new timeline….​

Matier said his company will submit an environment assessment to the province within the next month. That assessment will also go to Nova Scotia’s Natural Resources Department as part of the land lease application….

Matier said the company is still aiming for the first round of satellite launches to begin in 2021.

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  • passinglurker

    That’s a shame I hope it is just a few months and not the start of more serious schedule slips. I like Cyclone 4m it’s basically just as much a franken-rocket as Antares.

  • Aerospike

    While the current plan for the Cylcone 4m calls for a kerolox first stage, it still leaves the hydrazine upper stage. Not really a fan of those to be honest, so I don’t understand why someone would want to build a “new” rocket with this stuff and a brand new launch site as well.

  • Michael Halpern

    Less development work

  • therealdmt

    Delayed, eh?

  • ThomasLMatula

    Inertia. Like ULA, Arianespace and Launcher One who don’t understand that the global launch industry is at a tipping point and inexpensive reusables are the wave of the future.

  • passinglurker

    Have you seen the cutaway pictures? That upper stage is dinky.

    As for why this upper stage it’s the same reason antares has a solid upper stage it’s what they had on the shelf. Like I said this is a franken rocket.

  • passinglurker

    This is meant to compete with pslv not falcon, and being made from off the shelf components means there isn’t a lot of dev costs to recoup and little to no loss if the industry really does tip.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    You have heard of the Delta-K upper stage with the AJ-10 engine?

    The Cyclone 4m appears to be equivalent of a Delta II launcher minus the strapped-on solid boosters. Which doesn’t leave a lot of options for upper stage propulsion other than something hypergolic. Might not be physically room in the upper stage using cryogenic for fuel and/or oxidizer plus the complexity of handling cryogenic propellant(s).

    Cyclone 4m could be a small to medium size third tier launcher. IMO the window for getting it in service is a few years before funding drys up.

  • Aerospike

    Well they are going to replace the 2 lower hypergolic stages of the original Tsyklon-4 with a single kerolox stage that is basically new even using “new” engines (re-engineered engines based on older ones where not even all parts are available anymore due to political reasons).
    And they are building a brand new launch complex. Not really sure how that is supposed to yield “less development work”. Shuttle based launch system anybody?

  • Michael Halpern

    On paper it’s less development work

  • Aerospike

    Thanks, I didn’t dig far enough into the details. Since the original Tsyklon-4 was supposed to be a 3 stage rocket, I wrongly assumed that the new proposal would just change 1 out of 3 stages, not replace both first and second stages with a single new kerolox stage.
    Truly a franken rocket as you said!

    Btw: It’s not like I’m trying to bash hypergols. They certainly have their use cases (especially in such a tiny upper stage). I was just puzzled why someone would create a brand new launch site (not even adjacent to an existing one) for a booster based on hypergols. Thanks for pointing me to more information.

    But as others have pointed out: this is still a rocket which will very likely have a very limited window for service considering where the market/industry is headed. So why invest in it at all? Especially considering that it isn’t even a flight proven design with a long heritage?

    I totally get it why Urkaine or the company behind the rocket is trying to sell it. What I don’t get is why countries like Brazil or Canada are interested in hosting a launch site for it?

  • Aerospike

    That’s true, I guess.

  • passinglurker

    I suppose it depends on what you define as “proven” and “heritage” This is basically a mashup up of the Rokot, and Zenit parts they produce indigenously. Which also means like Antares that vehicle dev isn’t bank breaking.

    As for “why” someone would want to leap in on this rocket the answer is “PSLV”. People assume the market is going to split cubesats between micro launchers like electron and EELV class launchers like Falcon, and that the Delta ii class market was basically dead. The problem with this is electron gets terrible $/kg and is unsuitable for bulk flight, and booking enough cubesats to fill a falcon is like herding cats which is where the PSLV slips in and finds a niche.

    The methodology explaining the PSLV’s success is that there is a sweet spot between $/kg and schedule control which apparently it has found. The problem though with the PSLV is export restrictions to india in particular meaning a lot of american payloads need a waiver to fly (which they usually get because there is few better options) this creates an opportunity where anyone who makes a price competitive american friendly option stands a good chance at capturing a chunk of smallsat market.