Sci Station Canada

Friday, April 30, 2004

Canadan Arrow moving house

In other news on the Canadian entrants to the X-Prize, The Canadian Arrow Space Centre on Fanshawe Park Road East is looking for a new home. Their current facilities are being taken over by another London business success story, Hudson Boat Works, one of the world's top three racing-boat makers.

Arrow may end up moving out of London altogether.

"Everything is up in the air," said Geoff Sheerin, team leader of Canadian Arrow. "I need to find a new location and I may need to move out of London," he said. "I'm not sure the money we need to propel this project is in this community. So, just from a financial perspective, we may have to move."

Canadian Arrow has been offered financial incentives to move. Windsor and Sarnia have expressed interest .. the big prize for Arrow and London isn't the contest but a new industry -- space tourism. Sheerin said a study by a Texas consulting firm estimated an established space tourism industry would generate about $95 million US in business each year and upward of 650 local jobs. Globally, it's estimated space tourism will eventually become a multi-billion industry as the world's wealthy elite look for ways to have fun. And that's an industry the city doesn't want to lose, says Steve Glickman, director of business growth and retention for the London Economic Development Corp.

...The Canadian Arrow team successfully tested its 25,900-kilogram thrust engine for its rocket last month Canadian Arrow Engine Test is a Go!. It's expected to launch an unmanned flight off a barge in Lake Huron in the next few months, followed by a manned flight later in the year. The uncertainty of where the company will locate has delayed the space centre's plans to train astronauts. But work on the X Prize project continues. Sheerin said he remains confident the Arrow can meet the Jan. 1 deadline for the prize.


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