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Work ongoing to grow Timmins' stratospheric balloon base

The Canadian Space Agency wants to expand the Timmins facility to give scientists more room to work
2019-08-23 weather balloon MH
telescope launched in 2019 as part of the stratospheric balloon research in Timmins. The telescope was for the experiment Pilot, and weighed 1,100 kilograms. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

Work continues to expand Timmins' stratospheric balloon base. 

This week, city council awarded a $148,654 contract to Cy Rheault Construction Ltd. to relocate a garage and small trailer shelter, as well as do site work. While the item isn't in the 2022 budget, the city will be reimbursed for the cost of the work.

The stratospheric balloon facility is at the Timmins Victor M. Power Airport in a secured area near the MNR buildings. The city owns the base, which is leased to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The launches are a partnership between the CSA and French space agency.

The expansion is designed to give scientists more room to work on payloads, especially early in the launches when there are weather delays or multiple projects ongoing.

“If they get a delay in the launch, then they can get the next group of scientists come in and piggyback on them, and there’s not enough room for them all if they’re there at the same time so they want to build another integration hall,” said Dave Dayment, Timmins airport manager.

In January, L360 Architecture was hired to be the design and contract administration consultant for the expansion, which is in its first phase.

In its second phase, a new integration hall will be constructed. The tender for that work is expected to go out shortly, and construction is expected to start later this year.

The first stratospheric balloon campaign to take place in Timmins in 2013 was a qualification campaign. 

Launches were also made in 2014, 2015 and 2019.

For a better idea of what the stratospheric base does, check out a story about the 2019 launch here.

— TimminsToday