Sunday, July 3, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompts concern for MLS spaceport partners

  • March 2 2022
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – Maritime Launch Services (MLS), the company proposing to build Canada’s first rocket launch facility at Canso, is concerned for its Ukrainian partners, based in one of several cities under attack by Russian forces.

MLS has partnered with Ukraine’s Yuzhmash to supply rockets – the Cyclone-4M – for their commercial satellite launch service.

A Ukrainian state-owned aerospace manufacturer, Yuzhmash is headquartered in the city of Dnipro, which has been attacked by Russian forces, according to reports from residents shared in media coverage.

In the early hours of Feb. 24, Russia launched an air, land and sea invasion of Ukraine. The invasion, seen as the biggest attack on a European state since the Second World War, has been focused on eastern Ukraine, particularly the capital city of Kyiv.

When news of the Russian invasion broke, The Journal asked MLS for comment about the status of their project partners in Ukraine.

President and CEO of MLS Steve Matier replied in an email, “We are deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of our friends and colleagues at Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash, and for all people of Ukraine. This unprovoked aggression is resulting in the loss of innocent people’s lives: men, women and children.

“We have always felt a deep sense of family with the people we have worked with since our collaboration began in 2016, and are truly shocked at the wanton acts of violence from Russia. We hope for a peaceful end and withdrawal of Russian forces soon.”

At this time, MLS understands that their supplier partners in Ukraine have not been struck during the Russian attack in Dnipro.