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NordSpace Successfully Tests Flight Ready Liquid Rocket Engine, Prepares for Canada’s First Commercial Space Launch

May 15, 2024

NordSpace Successfully Tests Flight Ready Liquid Rocket Engine, Prepares for Canada’s First Commercial Space Launch

NordSpace’s Hadfield engines are designed to propel the company’s Canadian made and launched vehicle, Tundra, to carry 500 kg to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

At 2:25 PM EST on Thursday February 8th, 2024, NordSpace successfully tested its flight ready, regeneratively cooled, rocket engine (Hadfield-10). NordSpace is a leading Canadian space technology company, building and launching orbital launch vehicles in Canada. The Hadfield series of engines are the only commercial orbital-class liquid rocket engines being actively developed in Canada, designed to propel NordSpace’s launch vehicle, Tundra, to carry up to 500 kg to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The in-house additively manufactured Hadfield series of engines are uniquely designed to support multiple fuels alongside cryogenic oxidizers and in particular, environmentally friendly carbon neutral e-fuels. The use of these fuels is an industry first approach and a major step forward towards sustainable access to space and green aviation. Although significantly more complex in comparison to other propulsion technologies, liquid bipropellant rocket engines promise far greater performance, precision, and reliability.

NordSpace is working closely with the Canadian Government and its many industrial partners to ensure a safe and historic launch from Canadian soil in 2024, and would like to thank Transport Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, FedDev Ontario, Space Canada, and Invest Ottawa for their continued support.

On January 20th, 2023, the Government of Canada announced it supports commercial space launches in Canada with affirming remarks from The Honourable Omar Alghabra (former Minister of Transport), The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry), and The Honourable Marc Garneau (Member of Parliament, former Canadian astronaut). “By enabling commercial space launch from Canada, we are creating the conditions for a vibrant and growing space sector, including an opportunity to create thousands of more jobs, which will make us more competitive internationally and more resilient at home.” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne.

The next and final series of tests to qualify the Hadfield-10 for flight are scheduled for the coming days, and will mark the completion of NordSpace’s test program for the engine. The following months will involve integration of the engine into the full assembly of NordSpace’s Taiga suborbital launch vehicle designed to cross the 100 km Karman line, achieving many firsts for Canada.

NordSpace’s CEO, Rahul Goel, commented on the company’s recent success – “What NordSpace has built and accomplished in less than a year is unprecedented and demonstrates that Canada is a nation brimming with talent, resources, and potential. With nearly 30 nations around the world racing towards developing sovereign launch capabilities by the end of the decade, Canada must ensure it does not miss the same opportunity. Sovereign launch is a critical capability for Canada to generate thousands of new high-skill jobs and spur economic growth, monitor and protect our environment, connect Canadians in our most remote communities, secure our national interests, inspire generations of Canadians, and maintain our longstanding global leadership in space. I have never been more proud of the NordSpace team, and to be Canadian.”

After the successful test, NordSpace’s Chief Propulsion Engineer, Lakshmanan Velappan remarked – “NordSpace is rapidly developing into a world-class aerospace company, and this incredible accomplishment is just our first of many. We are working around the clock to ensure our launch vehicle achieves orbit and opens up the gateway to space for all Canadians. Our sights are set on achieving orbit in the near future.”

About NordSpace

NordSpace is a Canadian space engineering company developing a diverse range of space technologies, with the mission to “Advance Life on Earth, from Space”. NordSpace’s goal is to lead Canada into a new era of space exploration and deliver critically needed momentum, jobs, innovation, inspiration, national security and sovereignty. The company’s three core divisions focus on the development of launch vehicles, satellites, and space robotics. NordSpace is developing 3 classes of launch vehicles, named Taiga (sub-orbital), Boreal (light-orbital), and Tundra (orbital), with its first launch scheduled for 2024.

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