Biz & Tech Headlines
|Written by Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 23 January 2011 21:27|
The Muhammad Institute for Space Science -- a Canadian organization dedicated to putting the Islamic world back at the forefront of scientific discovery -- wants to build a space-launch facility in Canada.
The head of the institute, Vancouver astrophysicist Redouane Al Fakir, says it’s about time Canada had its own space launching capabilities. His proposed commercial space port would be the first of its kind in this country.
Dr. Al Fakir is looking at two coastal sites for the facility: Tofino and Prince Rupert, off the coast of British Columbia. Both are fairly secluded locations but are accessible by road — ideal conditions for a space port.
The goal of the facility would be to launch missions into Earth’s orbit and to other solar-system destinations like the moon, Mars and beyond.
The 50-year-old father of two, says he’s secured $250,000 in startup money from overseas and has begun an international fundraising drive to raise the estimated $100-million it would take to build the facility. Dr. Al Fakir estimates that it would take $100 million to build a facility, and $500 million to send up a rocket.
His non-profit institute, founded in 2008, is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia. According to its website, the institute has two main goals: “Giving the Islamic world community a top-level scientific space institution it can call its own” and “Contributing to the promotion of British Columbia as a world hub for space science and technology.”