Nova Scotia Destined Cyclone 4M Rocket for Maritime Launch Services Passes Another Test

The Cyclone 4 fully-integrated upper stage, underwent qualification profile in August. Credit: Yuzhnoye SDO/Maritime Launch Services.

Maritime Launch Services (MLS) and the Ukrainian based Yuzhnoye Design Office announced this morning that Yuzhnoye had successfully completed the qualification test of the fully integrated upper stage of the Cyclone 4M rocket.

We haven’t heard much from MLS publicly in a while, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy.

MLS is a Halifax based startup looking to build a spaceport in Nova Scotia to launch satellites. They plan on initially using a Ukrainian Cyclone 4M (C4M) medium-class rocket. The spaceport could eventually be home to other launch companies as well.

Complete Cyclone 4M upper stage tested

MLS stated in a press release that the “fully-integrated system level test, which followed the recent successful completion of the C4M payload fairing qualification demonstration test, validates the key components of the satellite deployment capability for the launch complex in development in Nova Scotia at Canada’s first and only commercial orbital rocket launch complex.”

Steven Matier, CEO of MLS told SpaceQ that he was very pleased with the test results, and that the company is looking at getting construction started next spring on the spaceport.

Cyclone 4 fully-integrated upper stage test firing. Credit: Yuzhnoye SDO/Maritime Launch Services.

Matier said the Cyclone 4M upper stage tests were completed in August. The first tests were for the 7000 series qualification profile on August 23 which was then followed by a second full duration burn on August 30.

In a press release Matier also said “the full-duration burn of our C4M upper stage brings us closer to introducing this medium-class launcher into commercial operation in 2021 from our spaceport in Canada. The C4M, with well-proven rocket technology heritage over 220 successful launches, will cater to our small-GEO, constellation and rideshare customers worldwide.”

The press release further stated that “the Cyclone-4 LV 3rd stage hot fire tests were intended to check the operation of pneumo-hydraulic propellant supply system to RD86lK engine, the thrust vector control system and liquid jet system, as well as the RD861K engine operation as a whole. The full test sequence of the RD861K engine had five ignitions during the first test cycle with a total burn time of 405.2 sec.”

“The second full test sequence of the RD861K engine also had five starts with a total engine ignition time of 400.2 sec. All of the Cyclone-4 fully integrated 3rd stage hot fire tests were successfully completed and all systems showed normal performance and confirmed the accuracy of all design objectives.”

MLS also said “the development of the LOx/RP1 first stage development and design of the spaceport facility and support equipment continue.”

Maritime Launch Services Cyclone 4M rocket
Maritime Launch Services Cyclone 4M rocket. Credit: Maritime Launch Services.

Investors road show

One reason why we haven’t heard much from MLS has been because the company is doing “a road show” to get more investors onboard. Matier said he was pleased with how the tour has been going, but wouldn’t comment on who the company may have signed up. He did say though, that they have been focused on Canadian investors.

Matier, in attendance at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington this week, said to expect more news later in the week.

Canadian Space Summit 2019

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 27 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.