A company in Nova Scotia wants to make a business out of launching satellites into space.

Tyler Reyno, founder and CEO of Open Space Orbital Inc., said he thinks this has big economic potential for the province.


Tyler Reyno said Nova Scotia’s oceanside position makes it a great place from which to launch rockets into space. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

Reyno hopes to raise $100,000 by Sept. 5 through an online Kickstarter campaign to develop a small prototype engine and market analysis for his satellite business.

"We're going to be launching small satellites, below 50 kilograms, into low-Earth orbit. So these are satellites that are increasing in application — remote sensing, communications, Earth observation, the list really goes on. There are military applications as well. We would be the company delivering the satellites for other companies into space who can't do so themselves," he told CBC’s Information Morning.

Reyno, who studied mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University, said Nova Scotia’s oceanside position makes it a great place from which to launch rockets into space.

"It’s a location that NASA and other companies have targeted before, so we’re kind of picking up where people have left off in the past," he said.  

Reyno said satellite customers currently pay in the low tens of millions to launch their gear into space, but Reyno said that, eventually, he believes he can offer the same service for about $1 million.

Emerging industry

Reyno said the industry’s future is in the private sector.

"I strongly, strongly believe in the commercialization of space. I think it has unbelievable economic potential to, not only stimulate the Nova Scotian economy, but really make something of Canada — a country who hasn't launched anything into orbit in the past," he said.

Jim Drummond

Jim Drummond, an atmospheric scientist at Dalhousie University, welcomes a launch site in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

"This is much more than just Nova Scotia, it very much has a national impact, and I very much see that and I think that if it's not us it will be someone else. So, we're very happy to pick up that role and do what we can to bring that industry to Nova Scotia."

Jim Drummond, a professor of physics at Dalhousie University, says satellites are a new field, waiting to be tapped into.

“Oh we love launching satellites. We've got all kinds of ideas,” Drummond said.

“The prospects are there will be a lot of small satellites launched in the next decade or two, so if some part of that business could be captured by Canada that would be very beneficial."

Reyno says Canada has the expertise to launch satellites, but not the opportunities to keep experts in the country.

He recently made headlines for grabbing one of the top 705 spots offered by Mars One, a private company whose goal is to establish a private colony on the planet by 2025.