WINNIPEG, MB - 28 April, 1998 - Akjuit Aerospace Incorporated launched its first rocket today at 7:10 a.m. from the SpacePort Canada sounding rocket complex, located near Churchill, Manitoba. A Black Brant 9 carried a Canadian Space Agency space physics payload approximately 400 kilometres above the earth to conduct a number of scientific experiments. This important mission, named "ACTIVE", supported two of Canada's most ambitious space science projects - the TPA Mars Probe, Canada's first mission to Mars, and OSIRIS, widely considered to be the world's most advanced ozone measuring instrument.
Within two hours after the launch, the 1st stage of the rocket had been recovered and returned to the launch site. The 2nd stage of the rocket is currently being recovered in the Keewatin region of Nunavut by a 5 person team of Inuit from the community of Arviat.
The importance of this exciting first all Canadian mission was described by Ms. Siobhan M. Mullen, Akjuit's President and CEO:
This mission is an important event for Manitoba and Canada, with a CSA sponsored payload flying on a Manitoba - built launch vehicle from the SpacePort Canada launch site. It was a true team effort - a successful collaboration between the CSA, Bristol Aerospace and Akjuit. This inaugural launch from SpacePort Canada signifies the potential Canada has to lead the world in next generation launch services by providing a commercial "airport" for international launch vehicles.
Churchill Mayor Michael Spence, long time supporter of SpacePort Canada, stated, "I'm excited about it - it's great not only for Churchill and Manitoba, but for Canada as a whole. This is a very exciting time for Churchill. Although our economy has slowly been improving, SpacePort Canada will have a great impact on its future development."
For further information contact
Lawrence Prout, Akjuit Aerospace Incorporated (204) 934-5636
ACTIVE launch vehicle ready for launch in the
Aerobee Launch Tower