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The head of a firm hoping to open Canada's only commercial spaceport says they remain on schedule for a slated first satellite launch in 2021, even though provincial authorities have withheld approval pending more information.

In a decision released Thursday, Environment Minister Margaret Miller said the company behind the proposed Canso spaceport needs to prepare a report about the project's potential impacts on water resources, soil, air quality, noise, flora and fauna, fish, protected areas and parks, dangerous goods management, waste management, human health and contingency planning.

The Canso Spaceport Facility, near the small community of Canso in eastern Nova Scotia, would be 20 hectares in size and is aimed at attracting firms that want to put satellites into orbit for commercial purposes.

Miller says Maritime Launch Services Ltd., which submitted its application for an environmental assessment in July, has a year to compile the report and submit it.

President and CEO Stephen Matier says while the decision put a damper on their plans for a groundbreaking later this year, they still plan on beginning construction in the spring.

He says the company intends to finish the report as quickly and correctly as possible so it can remain on track.