SpaceRyde Awarded $500,000 Contribution by The Canadian Space Agency to Develop Lightweight Rocket Nozzle

Toronto, Canada - August 11, 2020

SpaceRyde, a Toronto-based small satellite launch provider, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a highly competitive contribution through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Space Technology Development Program (STDP). The $500,000 contribution will go towards the development of a rocket nozzle, which serves as an integral component in the company’s balloon/rocket launch system. 


The number of small satellites launched is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.28% through to 2030, according to a recent market report. SpaceRyde’s launch service will address this growing demand through its balloon/rocket system, which provides an affordable, on-demand launch service that is able to operate from anywhere in the world. Unlike its competitors, SpaceRyde’s technology will act as a taxi-like service to space for small satellites without the need to ride share on big rockets. Furthermore, by using an emissionless balloon to navigate through the thickest layers of the atmosphere, SpaceRyde’s launch system is the best option for the environment when compared with traditional launch services. 


As well as being used to develop a rocket nozzle for the company’s launch system, the CSA contribution will help support job retention and growth in Canada during a period of economic uncertainty. SpaceRyde has recently welcomed several new hires and will continue to add talent to its team as it nears commercialization of its launch service. 


A graduate of both California-based Y Combinator and the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto, SpaceRyde has grown to just under twenty employees since its founding in 2018. The company successfully conducted a test flight in June, 2019, which proved the balloon/rocket concept works and has real world application. SpaceRyde is on its way to becoming the first Canadian company to launch satellites into space and the first company in the world to develop a balloon/rocket launch vehicle capable of orbit.


Sohrab Haghighat, CEO at SpaceRyde, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this highly coveted CSA contribution. Thanks to our phenomenal team, SpaceRyde is on the cusp of developing one of the most advanced launch systems ever created. In addition to helping in the development of our rocket, the CSA contribution will allow us to continue supporting Canada’s world-leading space industry and promote job growth in the province of Ontario.”

Chris Hadfield, CEO at Chris Hadfield Inc. and former astronaut, said: “SpaceRyde has consistently demonstrated its ability to navigate through the highly complex and regulated space industry. With satellite launches being dominated by large providers, there is ample space for small and agile companies to enter the market and provide an alternative, often cheaper, solution. SpaceRyde has positioned itself to meet that demand and there is no doubt that through the support from institutions like the CSA, the company will be able to bring its product to market in the very near future.” 


Ajay Agrawal, Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, said: "SpaceRyde is a promising graduate of CDL Space, a stream for founders pursuing commercial opportunities that exploit the recent drop in the cost of accessing low earth orbit. SpaceRyde worked with CDL mentors to sharpen their objectives in a series of 8-week sprints. They are now advancing with a rapid cadence and we're excited to see how this company develops."