Comments Off on NWIC Space Center is Authorized to Launch High Powered Rockets

Great news! We just received the go-ahead from both the US and Canadian aviation agencies to launch high powered rockets here on the Lummi Reservation. We sought and received permission from the Lummi Nation in May and it’s taken this long to wade through the paperwork and the back and forth conversations to satisfy both countries’ safety concerns. “Canada?”, you ask. Yep, seems as though our choice of launch sites is actually in Vancouver, BC controlled airspace for the Vancouver International Airport. The US and Canada share control of this airspace for domestic flights landing and departing from both countries’ airports.

Bottom line, the Northwest Indian College Space Center has a high powered rocket launch site that has been negotiated with and approved by three sovereign nations. The catch is that we have to communicate with both aviation agencies several days initially, and then minutes before the actual launch to ensure aviation safety. And, right now we can launch from 8:00 am until 12:00 noon on Saturdays and Sundays from August 30, 2010 until August 29, 2011. Rockets are restricted to 3000’ in altitude. Both agencies have indicated that a year’s worth of safe launches may open a larger launch window, both in time and altitude increases.

The NWIC Space Center is beginning to plan an opening ceremony for the community and other interested persons to be held at the launch site. The ceremony will include several rocket launches and may include one or more high powered rockets, depending on the day and time that we can organize for this event.

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