Ukraine Defense Minister Guarantees $250 Million for Joint Rocket Effort

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

Brazilian Ministry of Defense PR — On a visit to the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, Defense Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Yezhel Bronislavovych, said today that Ukraine is transferring its part of investment in Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS), a binational company created to market business services from rocket and satellite Maranhão.

“We have the resources of U.S. $250 million to be invested from October. We are also open to transfer technology to a new satellite launcher, the Cyclone 5, which will be produced jointly with Brazil,” he said.

The Brazilian Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, said that ACS is a strategic project for Brazil.

“Most of the program is under the control of the Brazilian Space Agency, the Defense Ministry has only a small share, but the promised contribution is excellent news, which bodes well for technological cooperation between the two countries,” he said.


Brazil, Ukraine Deepen Space Cooperation

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

AEB PR — The space cooperation between Brazil and Ukraine has taken another important step. It was extremely productive meeting held on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB)  between, headed by its chairman, Marco Antonio Raupp, delegation visits and SDO Yuzhnoye Company of Ukraine, led by its director general, Alexander Degtyarev. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Institute of Aeronautics and Space Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (SAE) and Alcântara Cyclone Space Company (ACS).

The meeting continued the understandings started during the visit of Brazilian technical committee, headed by the President of AEB, in early July, the Ukrainian industries involved in the program of bi-national company ACS, which will promote launches of Cyclone-4 rocket, Ukraine from the center of Alcantara, Brazil, introducing a safe and economical alternative in the global market for commercial launches.


Brazilian Space Officials Visit Ukraine As Nation Widens International Cooperation

Ukraine's Cyclone-4 rocket

Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) President Marco Antonio Raupp is leading a technical committee on a tour of Ukrainian companies, factories and agencies this week as part of the joint program to launch Cyclone-4 rockets from the equatorial Alcantara Launch Center in Maranhão.

“The objective is to monitor on-site development work and production of satellite launch vehicle Cyclone-4 and check the progress of the project that resulted from the Cooperation Treaty signed in 2003,” AEB said in a press release. “The schedule needs assessment and detailed monitoring to support important decisions to be taken by Brazilian authorities.”

“The committee is composed of the directors of the Brazilian Space Agency, Himilcon Nilo Carvalho and Andrade; the head of the Laboratory Integration and Testing of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE); Petronio Noronha de Souza, the director of the Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE), Francisco Pantoja; and servers by the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology Mario Niwa, Alvani de Adam Silva, Cristiane Silva Pagliuca and Wladimir.”


Ukrainians Working on Taurus II Second Stage Propulsion

Ukraine space agency Chairman Yuri AlekseyevThe National Space Agency of Ukraine has posted an interesting Q&A with Chairman Yuri Alekseyev in which he discusses his organization’s key role in supplying rockets and space technologies worldwide. Ukraine inherited a great deal of Soviet space capability after that nation broke up, and it has maintained and expanded it despite periods of severe economic chaos. Ukraine’s rockets include the Zenit, Dnepr (Dnipro), and Cyclone-4.

Among the topics Alekseyev discussed include an increased role in Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Taurus II program and a joint venture to launch Cyclone-4 rockets from Brazil beginning in 2012.


Country Report: Prospects for Ukraine’s Space Effort Looking Up

The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II vehicle is shipped out from Yuzhnoye design bureau in Ukraine. (Credt: Yuzhnoye)

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, newly independent Ukraine was left with some significant space assets from which to build  a national program. Ukrainian companies build the Zenit, Cyclone and Dnepr launch vehicles that are used for satellite delivery. The nation also recently shipped the first stage for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s new Taurus II rocket.  Ukrainian companies contribute to the construction of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles, which ferry crews and supplies to the International Space Station. Ukraine also has the capability of building satellites and defense systems and has ground receiving stations.

The National Space Agency of Ukraine under Dr. Yuriy Alekseyev oversees the country’s space efforts.  Although overshadowed by its larger Russian counterpart, Roscosmos,  the NSAU is building on its Soviet-era foundation in an effort to become a force in international space.  The agency has continued to move forward despite funding difficulties, a global recession, and the bankruptcy of the Sea Launch consortium that uses the Zenit rocket. The nation, whose commercial space industry totaled $254 million in 2009, remains heavily dependent upon the Russian market although it is making major efforts at increasing its international cooperation and standing.


Video: Update on Brazilian-Ukrainian Cyclone-4 Rocket Project

The above video from SDO Yuzhnoye describes the joint Brazilian-Ukrainian Cyclone-4 project, which will involve flying the Ukrainian rocket from Brazil’s Alcantara spaceport beginning in 2012. This is not in English, but it is fairly easy to follow. An account of a September meeting between space officials from both countries with background information about the project follows after the break.


Russians May Launch Ukrainian to ISS

International Space Station

Roscosmos PAO reports that Ukraine could be the next country to visit the International Space Station:

Russia and Ukraine have agreed that they may send a Ukrainian cosmonaut on a Russian spaceship to participate in long-term operations on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov told news media.

According to him, it was Ukrainian proposal which implies training of national cosmonauts in Roscosmos’ Gagarin Training Center. However, the ‘costly’ initiative still has to be discussed with the ISS international partners, Perminov stated.

The Ukrainian National Space Agency will also work through all the aspects of the project, which haven’t been specified at the current stage.


Brazilians Seek Spot Among Rocket Launching Nations

Ukraine's Cyclone-4 rocket

RIA Novosti reports that a Brazilian delegation headed by Defense Minister Nelson Jobin is in the Ukraine for three-days of talks on military and space cooperation.

On the space side, the delegation will discuss the Alcantara Cyclone Space joint venture, which was established in 2006 to launch Ukrainian Cyclone-4 rockets from the Alcântara spaceport in Brazil. The rocket was originally scheduled to debut this year. The first launch is now set for 2012.

Cyclone-4 can launch satellites weighing up to 5,300 kilograms to equatorial low earth orbit (LEO) and 1,600 kilograms to geosynchronous orbit (GEO).