Space Launch Canada’s Redouane Fakir shows a model similar to three Space Launch Moon-5 satellites that will be built at the University of Victoria. Fakir hopes to launch two of the satellites from the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Space Launch Canada’s Redouane Fakir shows a model similar to three Space Launch Moon-5 satellites that will be built at the University of Victoria. Fakir hopes to launch two of the satellites from the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Agency plans satellite launches from West Coast

Space Launch Canada and UVic are building three space satellites, two of which are to be launched from the West Coast with three years.

One man’s dream of using the West Coast as a location to launch satellites into space has taken another step closer to reality.

Space Launch Canada has signed a three-year agreement with the University of Victoria to construct three space satellites. Work on the design and construction has already started, and the first satellite should be completed in one year and launched within two years, said Space Launch Canada director Redouane Fakir.

“This is a chance to begin diversifying the economy on the West Coast with a viable alternative,” said Fakir, who spearheads the project. “I always hear that West Coast communities are resource based or that they have resource economies. I believe that we are capable of going farther than that.”

The $840,000 project is being underwritten with a $420,000 grant from the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Council of Canada, and the other half with private investors.

The satellites will be built at the UVic Centre for Aerospace Research, a first for the facility, Fakir said.

Specifically, the team at UVic will construct three Space Launch Moon-5 satellites, each of which has a 10-year lifespan once in orbit. A third group — AGO Environmental Electronics — is also involved with the research.

The satellites will have the ability to take high-resolution pictures from space for educational purposes. “People will be able to take pics of something real time instead of using old pictures of something that may be different now,” Fakir said. “These won’t be military grade super high-resolution but they’ll be good for what they’re used for.”

As well, students from across the globe will be able to send basic messages to each other, and the satellites will be useful in a pinch if the Internet is down, he added.

In 2011, Fakir proposed building a launch site somewhere on the West Coast: Port Alberni, Ucluelet or Tofino. The idea is still percolating and hasn’t been forgotten, Fakir said.

His plan is to build a satellite then launch it from another country. Next, to bring another country’s launch infrastructure here to launch the second satellite from a barge on the West Coast. And finally, to build a third satellite and launch it from a dedicated launch facility on the West Coast.

It’s too late to get in on the space software sector, which is established elsewhere and saturated now, Fakir said. “We missed that boat. But it’s a good time to get in on space technology at the launch level.”

A new sector would not only diversify the economy but would also spark arts and culture. “Inspiration makes arts and culture prosper and inspiration can come from making new things,” Fakir said.

“In communities where things are happening, arts and culture are thriving.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

The King Edward Liquor Store sponsored the Alberni Golf Club’s event on June 13. From left to right are Ken Porteous (manager of the King Edward Liquor Store) and Alberni Golf Club Members Don MacGowan, John Robbins and Wayne Cheveldave. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ALBERNI GOLF: Doug Cheetham records hole in one

Next Sunday is an open day with the best gross and the best net up for grabs

Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist and educator. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Electric Mermaid online event hosts panel of Indigenous writers

Event takes place through Char’s Landing in Port Alberni

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read