We’ve all had loud neighbors before. Some play music too loud, some seem to pour marbles above on their hardwood floors, and there’s always a guy in the area who thinks 6 a.m. is an ideal time to start a leaf blower.

But hearing rockets next door is an entirely different matter. They don’t have a mute button and ear plugs may not do the trick.

A Canadian town of 13,000 people in Ontario is asking nearby rocket startup SpaceRyde to please stop engine testing in the area, for the love of God. The municipality has sought legal advice and contends that the company did not disclose plans for the engine testing in its property application.

“The sound can be heard for many miles and startles anyone in the nearby vicinity. Horses may bolt, and pets are distressed. Wildlife is disrupted,” a petition with over 700 signatures alleges.

“People’s safety is at risk as the startling noise may cause anyone horseback riding, bicycling, motorcycling, working on a ladder or rooftop to momentarily lose concentration as they process the alarming sound.”

One begins to picture a town in which distressed dogs are barking at rockets and startled horses are bolting into ladders. But that could be off.

Trent Hills is about two hours east of Toronto, if you’re in the market for a house in a quiet area. SpaceRyde opened a 25,000-square-foot rocket propulsion testing facility in nearby Concord, Ontario in June, which at the moment, has a single one star Google rating.

SpaceRyde is a Canadian startup that hopes to build a network of rockets for cargo transportation in space, with a launch system that uses stratospheric balloons to lift rockets above the Earth before firing.

In response to the complaints, co-founder Sohrab Haghighat told Trent Hills Now that engine-testing noise is infrequent and around 100 decibels, “comparable to a semi-truck ‘highly revving’ its engine.” He says that residents are notified before a test occurs (“So sorry,” probably).

The issue has not yet been resolved. It appears that the rockets are still being tested and the pets are still distressed.

Haghighat added that one man told him that whenever he hears the rocket noise, he sees it as “the sound of progress, it’s the sound of Canada one day going to space (with) its own rocket.” That guy’s probably not going win an election for mayor anytime soon.

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Chason Gordon is a former staff writer and editor for How-To Geek. His writing has previously appeared in Slate, Vice, Input, and The Globe and Mail, among other publications.
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