We’ve all had noisy neighbors before. Some play music too loud, others seem to drop marbles on your hardwood floors, and there’s always one guy in the area who thinks 6 am is the ideal time to turn on a leaf blower.
But hearing rockets next door is an entirely different matter. They don’t have a mute button and earplugs may not work.
A Canadian city of 13,000 in Ontario is asking the nearby SpaceRyde rocket company to stop engine testing in the area, for God’s sake. The municipality has sought legal advice and maintains that the company did not disclose plans for the engine test in its ownership application.
“The sound can be heard for many miles and scares anyone in the vicinity. Horses can run away and pets are in distress. Wildlife is disrupted,” alleges a change.org petition with more than 700 signatures.
“People’s safety is at risk as alarming noise can cause anyone riding a horse, bicycle, motorcycle, working on a ladder or on a roof to momentarily lose concentration while processing the alarming sound.”
One begins to imagine a town where anguished dogs bark at firecrackers and frightened horses dash onto the stairs. But that could be off.
Trent Hills is about two hours east of Toronto, if you’re looking for a house in a quiet area. SpaceRyde opened a 25,000-square-foot rocket propulsion test facility in nearby Concord, Ontario, in June, which currently has a one-star Google rating.
SpaceRyde is a Canadian startup that hopes to build a network of rockets to transport cargo in space, with a launch system that uses stratospheric balloons to lift rockets above Earth before firing.
In response to complaints, co-founder Sohrab Haghighat told Trent Hills Now that noise from engine tests is infrequent and hovers around 100 decibels, “comparable to a semi ‘revving’ its engine a lot.” He says residents are notified before a test occurs (“Sorry,” probably).
The problem has not been resolved yet. It seems that the rockets are still being tested and the pets are still distraught.
Haghighat added that one man told him that whenever he hears the noise of the rocket, he sees it as “the sound of progress, it’s the sound of Canada one day going into space (with) its own rocket.” He probably won’t win a mayoral election anytime soon.