The New Space Age Includes Canada Being an Emerging Launching State

Kenneth Hodgkins (left) and Bob McDonald fireside chat on the New Space Age. Credit: SpaceQ.

During the Fireside Chat with the CBC’s Bob McDonald and the U.S. State Department’s Kenneth Hodgkins, one of the surprising topics discussed was that of Canada becoming an emerging launching state.

It was billed as a Fireside Chat with the CBC’s Bob McDonald interviewing Kenneth Hodgkins, the Director for the Office of space and Advanced Technology of the U.S. Department of State. The theme, The New Space Age. For Hodgkins this meant talking about the commercialization of space, and in particular the White House’s move to make space more commercial.

The discussion surprisingly started with the topic of emerging launching states.

Hodgkins said he had been in Canada in September to talk to the four emerging “launching states”, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. I can tell you there were surprised glances in the audience to learn that Canada was an emerging launching state, and I’m sure that included some people at ISED. He also said 2-3 American companies were wanting to use a spaceport in Nova Scotia. This might include Rocket Labs and Vector Space Systems.

Hodgkins intimated that the U.S. is bullish on some of its key partners becoming launching states. This was from the meeting in September where they discussed many things including “what it means to be a launching state, how can we coordinate what we’re trying to do, how do we look at commercial ventures, in this case the United States, commercial companies using Nova Scotia in this case, as a staging ground for their own commercial launches, and what are the implications for opening up a whole new level of capacity for government as well as non-government launching of satellites.”

In this week episode of the SpaceQ podcast we present the full Fireside Chat.  This recording is from the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s Ready for Launch – Preparing Canada for a Future in Space conference, which was held in Ottawa on October 16, 2018.

Listen in.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. EST.

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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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