CANSO, N.S. — It’s a 400-year-old Nova Scotia fishing village struggling to stay afloat — times have been so tough the town was dissolved five years ago.

Now, tiny Canso is being touted as the future home of Canada’s only commercial spaceport.

Maritime Launch Services Ltd. announced Tuesday that it has committed to establishing a launch complex near Canso.

The Halifax-based company, which is a joint venture of three U.S.-based firms, said it chose Canso after an assessment of 14 potential locations across North America.

Steve Matier, head of spaceport development, said the company met with residents last month, and many joked about the Canso area as a location.

“They described Canso as not at the end of the Earth, but you could see it from there,” said Matier in a telephone interview from Albuquerque, N.M.

“That’s what you are really looking for. You are looking for a place that has a good buffer from people and an access to a trajectory so that you have a client base that is interested in putting satellites into orbit.”

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