Thu, Mar 08, 2012
Claims 125 Vehicles For 19 Countries From Four Separate Facilities
The Ukrainian State Space Agency is claiming a spot among the world's spacefaring nations, saying it has joined the U.S., Russia, China, and the EU by becoming one of the top five rocket-launching countries in the world. Ukraine says it has grown into a significant player in the space industry, having launched 125 rockets and delivering 238 satellites belonging to 19 countries into orbit since 1991.
The agency says it has launched its rockets from four space launch facilities across the globe. In 2013 the country plans to begin operations at a fifth launch facility ... a joint Ukrainian-Brazilian project Alcantara Cyclone Space which is nearing completion. The bi-national project will provide a launch facility in what it says is one of the most advantageous locations on the planet.
The facilities location in Brazil near the equator means the cost of rocket launch from this location will be 20 percent less than average, according to Ukrain's Ambassador to Brazil Igor Grushko.
On July 18, 2011, a Ukrainian Zenit-3M rocket was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying the Russian astrophysical observatory Spectrum-R onto a unique orbit around planet Earth. Unique technical characteristics of Zenit-3M allow it to carry up to 14 tons cargo onto low orbits, which was crucial for the mission.
Ukraine is one of the three successors of the Soviet Union's space industry, the two others being Russia and Kazakhstan. Ukrainian space industry companies utilize most of the known space technologies and participate in 50 international space projects. The country boasts a complete rocket production cycle. Ukrainian SDO Yuzhnoe produced over 400 Earth satellites. In 2004 alone Ukraine administered 7 lift-offs, accounting for 13 percent of all rocket launches that year. Under the ambitious project Selena, the advisor to the chairman of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Eduard Kuznetsov says Ukraine is set to send its own scientific satellite to the Moon in 2017.
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