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Launch Capabilites [clear filter]
Friday, October 11

14:30 EDT

Beyond the Rocket Science; The Challenges of Launch Vehicle Start-ups in Canada
As if developing a rocket to fly to orbit weren’t hard enough, for-profit entities attempting to make a business from launch-as-a-service face incredible challenges that are tangentially related to the engineering or, often, not at all. This piece will dive into the developmental and operational challenges faced by commercial launch organizations globally, and those specific to Canadian organizations. The global challenges of launch vehicle development and operation will be covered first. This includes the challenges associated with regulatory compliance, with launch vehicle safety, and with defining a competitive business model in the overcrowded small-launch market. The challenges specific to Canadian launch businesses will be covered following that. These challenges include a lack of resources, a lack of experience, lack of launch sites, lack of regulatory oversight, and myopic venture capital funding. The talk concludes by looking at potential ways forward and the political and economic ramifications of launch from Canada.

avatar for Neil Woodcock

Neil Woodcock

Chief Operations Officer, Reaction Dynamics
Neil Woodcock is the Chief Operations Officer of Reaction Dynamics, a Canadian startup intending to manufacture and operate small satellite launch vehicles. He previously worked as the Space Concordia Rocketry Division’s technical lead and as Space Concordia’s President. He obtained... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 14:30 - 14:50 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

14:50 EDT

Black Brant Sounding Rockets: 60 Years of Going Beyond
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Canada’s first venture into space, the inaugural launch of the Black Brant I sounding rocket on September 5th, 1959, which took place three years before the launch of the first Canadian satellite Alouette 1. That first Black Brant was launched from the Churchill Research Range (CRR) in Northern Manitoba, carrying a 100 kg payload to an altitude of 100 km. Since 1962, more than 1,000 Black Brants have been launched with a vehicle success rate of 98.7% (99.4% since 1982) – an extraordinary engineering achievement.

Although there has not been a Canadian sounding rocket mission since 2000, Black Brants remain the suborbital vehicle of choice for interdisciplinary space researchers worldwide. NASA typically flies 12-15 Black Brant rockets annually and has been doing this regularly since 1971. Other potential international users have expressed an interest in the Black Brant for their future suborbital missions, and the rocket motors have been continuously being upgraded to incorporate new materials and novel manufacturing processes, as well to improve the overall performance of the vehicle.

Depending on the configuration, the Black Brant can carry payloads up to 850 kg in mass to altitudes up to 1,500 km and provide up to 20 minutes of microgravity. The vehicle could be used to give cubesat hardware a suborbital flight opportunity, increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of new space technologies, calibrate satellite instruments by taking concurrent measurements, and perform interdisciplinary scientific research such as microgravity experiments, auroral studies, astronomical observations, and other investigations.

Sixty years after its first flight, the Black Brant stands ready to once again provide Canadian engineers and scientists in government, academia, and industry with a responsive and cost-effective platform for suborbital missions to advance interdisciplinary scientific investigations and technology capability demonstrations.

avatar for Eric Choi

Eric Choi

Senior Business Development Manager, Magellan Aerospace
Eric Choi is the senior business development manager for the space business unit of Magellan Aerospace. Over the course of his career, he has held positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility in both the aviation and space sectors, the latter including work on QEYSSat... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 14:50 - 15:10 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

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