Launch Canada Gathers Future Canadian Rocketeers


Over the last week, university students across the country have been launching rockets just south of Timmins, near Mattagami First Nation.

It was part of the second annual Launch Canada competition and Stardust Festival, and it is the only place in the country where students can test their creations and actually blast them off.

“Three, two, one, ignition” – words student rocketry teams from across the country were overjoyed to hear over a dozen times during the events.

Organizers said the object of Launch Canada is to create the most powerful and reliable rockets they can and launch them as high as possible.

“This is really the first time that these students have had a chance to be able to come together in one place,” said Adam Trumpour a propulsion specialist with Launch Canada.

“(They got to) meet each other and launch and demonstrate all of these projects together.”

With 18 teams lugging their rockets across the country to showcase their designs the competition was larger than the inaugural event.

Officials with the event told CTV news that the creations on the display rival the best from around the world – one team even breaking some global records.

“Getting to work on rockets in Canada has been a blast,” said Henri Massicotte, the head of engineering at Space Concordia’s rocketry division.

“It’s been a challenging route… to build the world’s largest rocket – liquid rocket, built by students. And, in the process, also making the most powerful rocket engine built by students.”

Organizers said their work will only get better by gathering in northern Ontario, which is the only place in the country where these rocketeers can collaborate as well as compete.

“Before, it was completely on our own,” said Viktoria Loncar, a member of a team from the University of British Columbia, called UBC Rocket.

“So it’s really nice to be able to compete and compare and also improve, to see what other students have.”

Michael Day is another member UBC Rocket and he told CTV News it was super interesting to see the different thought processes and “how that can kind of influence our next designs.”


Officials with Launch Canada said this event can be a ‘launch pad’ for a future in the aerospace industry.

Trumpour said a number of new Canadian startups are looking for talent to help them reach far beyond the clouds.

“Every one of them was either founded by former members of these student rocket teams or else hires almost exclusively from those teams,” he said.

“So, it’s already starting to create this entire new industry and it’s really exciting to see where this could go.”

Launch Canada said it is looking to build a permanent location for the competition with the support of local politicians and the Mattagami First Nation adding it would act as an incubator for professional who are setup to make explosive impacts on the Canadian space industry. 

Source : CTV News