StFX Signs MOU with Maritime Launch Services

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ANTIGONISH, N.S. (StFX PR) — St. Francis Xavier University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Maritime Launch Services Ltd.

The signing of the agreement took place January 17, 2020 at StFX in the Joyce Family Atrium, Mulroney Hall before a large crowd that included the Hon. Randy Delorey, Nova Scotia Minister of Health & Wellness and Gaelic Affairs and Antigonish MLA; Mary Preville, Director General of Policy for the Canadian Space Agency; as well as representatives from ACOA, Nova Scotia Business Inc., local municipal governments, the local chamber of commerce, and the aerospace industry.

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

“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,” says Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies. “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.”

Dr. Isnor says he is enthusiastic about opportunities that agreements like this can create and how it’s supportive of the One Nova Scotia Coalition and Ivany Report, which challenged post-secondary institutions to look for opportunities to collaborate with companies being established or trying to contribute to society and the economy in the province. 

Minister Delorey and Ms. Preville of the Canadian Space Agency also spoke during the event, offering their congratulations. 

This one initiative has so many far-reaching positive implications, Minister Delorey said as he noted possible research opportunities and opportunities to support the local area. 

“We are pleased to partner with StFX,” says Steve Matier, President and CEO of Maritime Launch Services, who noted the MOU is a logical next step as their initiative ramps up and with their focus toward the development of the most critical element of their needs to grow, retain and challenge the local talent and expertise here in Nova Scotia.

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

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