Maritime Launch Services
Company typePublic
Key people
Steve Matier
(President and Spaceport Development)
ProductsCyclone-4M launch service
ServicesOrbital rocket launch

Maritime Launch Services (MLS) is a Canadian space transport services company founded in 2016 and headquartered in Nova Scotia, Canada. MLS will rely on Ukrainian Cyclone-4M rockets by Pivdenne Design Office to launch polar and Sun-synchronous orbit from Canso, Nova Scotia. MLS is a joint venture of three U.S.-based firms.[1]

Launch site

On March 14, 2017, MLS selected Canso, Nova Scotia as MLS's launch site. MLS has applied to lease 15 hectares of land outside the town from the provincial Department of Natural Resources, and construction was slated to begin in 2021.[2][3] The $110 million rocket spaceport will be used to launch commercial satellites into space with a goal for up to eight launches annually.[4] After further delays, MLS received final approval for construction in August 2022 and began work in September 2022.[5] MLS President and CEO Stephen Matier claimed that MLS is aiming to conduct a suborbital launch NET Q2 2023, before further developing the site to accommodate Cyclone-4M. The site is slated to include a 10-15 metre-tall control centre and rocket assembly facility, with a launch pad positioned 2.4 kilometres away, linked by a custom rail system for rocket transportation. It will be the only operational spaceport in Canada, after the abandonment of the Churchill Rocket Research Range in the 1990s, and the first commercial spaceport for orbital launches in the country.[6][7] It is estimated that construction of the spaceport will take three or four years to complete.[2]

The proposed launch site is approximately 3.5 km south of Canso at 45°18′13″N 60°58′58″W / 45.303559°N 60.982891°W / 45.303559; -60.982891 (Launch Site), with the Vehicle Processing Facility located approximately 2 km south-west of Canso at 45°19′02″N 61°00′36″W / 45.317235°N 61.010000°W / 45.317235; -61.010000 (Vehicle Processing Facility).[8]


MLS hopes to launch eight rockets annually with two southward launch options. Option 1 is a Sun-synchronous orbit launch between 600–800 km, for smaller satellites, with a payload up to 3350 kg for US$45 million. Option 2 is a Low Earth Orbit launch, below 600 km in altitude, that will allow a payload up to 5000 kg also for US$45 million.[9]


MLS will rely on Ukrainian 2-stage Cyclone-4M rockets built by Pivdenne Design Office. The Cyclone-4M uses a Zenit-derived first stage powered by four Ukrainian-built RD-874 Kerosene/LOX engines[10][11][12] and upper stage stack developed for the original hypergolic Cyclone 4 rocket. The first launch of the Cyclone-4M is expected to take place at Canso in 2025.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "T-minus 1 year until rocket launch site construction starts in Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia - CBC News". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  2. ^ a b Golubeva, Alena (9 April 2021). "Максим Дегтярев: «Спрос на выведение грузов на орбиту будет расти»" [Maxim Degtyarev: "The demand for placing cargo into orbit will grow"]. GMK Center (in Russian). Retrieved 11 May 2021. Компания получила разрешение, оформляет документы на получение земельного участка и уже в текущем году рассчитывает начать строительные работы. Сколько времени уйдет на строительство космодрома? – Три-четыре года. [The company has received permission, and is preparing documents for obtaining a land plot and expects to start construction work this year. How long will it take to build the cosmodrome? – Three or four years.]
  3. ^ Beswick, Aaron. "Proposed spaceport gathers steam, but questions linger | The Chronicle Herald". Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  4. ^ "Commercial Space Launch Complex Site Selection Completed" (PDF). 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  5. ^ Barker, Nathan; Gebhardt, Chris (2022-09-09). "Maritime Launch Services breaks ground on Canada's first orbital launch site". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 2023-03-18.
  6. ^ Doucette, Keith. "Small Nova Scotia community chosen as launch site for space rockets". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  7. ^ "It is rocket science: New details revealed about proposed space port in Nova Scotia". 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  8. ^ "Maritime Launch Services" (PDF). 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Maritime Launch Services Selects Nova Scotia Site for Spaceport Over 13 Other Locations - SpaceQ". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  10. ^ "Cyclone 4M". Maritime Launch Services. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  11. ^ "RD-870 could become Ukraine's first booster engine". Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  12. ^ "Cyclone-4M SLS Abbreviated User's Guide" (PDF). Maritime Launch Services. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Precious Payload Partners With Maritime Launch, Adding Canada's First Commercial Spaceport, Spaceport Nova Scotia, to Launch.ctrl Marketplace". Business Wire (Press release). 8 December 2022. Retrieved 10 December 2022.