“We plan to create a constellation of space vehicles,” said Taftai, the head of the State Space Agency


What does the new one mean? space program of Ukraine?

— We plan to create a constellation of spacecraft. Considering the satellite “January 2-30”it should be 8 spacecraft, satellites with a high resolution of 1-2 meters (per pixel – ed.), and ultra-high – about 0.5 meters (per pixel – ed.).Photo: Andriy Stasyuk, Society. Satellite “January 2-30”

Such groups of satellites will allow us to carry out sounding, both in the interests of the country’s economy and in the interests of defense and security.

In addition, we plan to build our spaceport on the basis of a sea platform and launch rockets either from the Atlantic or from the Indian Ocean. Ukraine’s participation in the “Artemis” program is also important, it is a lunar landing module and development of technologies that are necessary for the lunar program.

Currently, the project of the space program is only about researching the possibility of building a “Sea Launch”. What has already been developed?

— There are preliminary assessments and developments in this direction, it is planned to implement this project as part of the space program. This means that within the framework of these 5 years, all this must be implemented in metal and will work as a complex.

Is the cost of the construction of the spaceport known?

— Yes, the project is estimated at UAH 4.8 billion. This is a fairly small cost, we use the technological links, the infrastructure that Ukrainian enterprises have.

How expensive will it be to maintain such a “Sea Start”?

— The bigger the rocket, the higher the cost. And these costs grow exponentially. Therefore, we focused on the creation of a light missile that would meet the needs of Ukraine. In addition, it is economically calculated that this project will be interesting from the point of view of launching satellites into orbit. Thus, it will be attractive both for operators of the space system and for those who launch satellites, that is, customers.

Is it possible to compare this sea launch with the previous project, where Pivdenmash, KB “Pivdenne” participated.

— They can be compared only in the very concept of creating the port itself. But this is a much smaller rocket, it is about 9 times smaller and, accordingly, the costs of its use will be much lower and economically it will be much more effective. In addition, the situation in the market of space services, regarding the removal of the payload, has changed significantly. If 20 years ago the main payload was geostationary satellites, the mass of which exceeded 4-5 tons, now most of the market is small low-orbit satellites."We plan to create a constellation of spacecraft"— head of the State Space Agency TaftaiPhoto: SE “Pivdenmash”

“Sea launch” involves the use of a sea platform for commercial space launches

There is also a joint Ukrainian-Canadian missile project “Cyclone 4M”. What stage is he at?

— This is a commercial project that will be implemented at the expense of a Canadian company. Accordingly, the Canadian company is responsible for implementation “MLS”. In November 2021, the first stone was officially laid, the official start of construction (of the spaceport in Canada – ed.)."We plan to create a constellation of spacecraft"— head of the State Space Agency TaftaiScreenshot, Public. Model of the missile “Zyklon 4M”

Final preparations are currently underway to begin large-scale construction and we expect it to begin in the near future.

What documents are signed?

— Since this is a commercial project, the Ukrainian side works with the Canadian side under contracts. Accordingly, the subject of these negotiations are the contracts between “MLS” and the Ukrainian enterprises of KB “Pivdenne” and “Pivdenmash”. Currently, there are no interstate conditions for cooperation in this direction. At the same time, Ukraine and Canada support this project, and a joint statement was signed by the Space Agency of Ukraine and the Space Agency of Canada regarding the support of this project.

Will Ukraine be able to use this spaceport for its own purposes?

— This is a private Canadian spaceport, but Ukraine’s participation here is very important and Ukraine will have its advantages for using this spaceport to launch satellites.

Ukraine’s space program was planned for 2021-25, now 2022. Is this program still relevant and why is it being approved for so long?

— The space program was approved in September 2021 and was sent to the Verkhovna Rada. Unfortunately, it is very busy and therefore, perhaps, there is not enough time for the people’s elected officials to consider this draft law. The space program has already twice been on the list of issues of daily meetings of the Verkhovna Rada, but this draft law has never come to the fore, but I hope that it will be approved in the near future. And, of course, it is relevant. When we were creating the space program, we already understood that most of the work would begin in 2022. And until now, the parameters that are in the space program of 2021-2025 are relevant.

In addition, one of the measures of this space program, namely the launch of the “Sich 2-30” satellite, was implemented in 2021, it corresponds to the plan that was laid down in the space program.

Ukraine has been living without a space program since 2017. Why did this happen?

— Another program was created, it was not accepted. This year we worked on the space program. How is it different? First, there are no transition measures in this space program. That is, all activities that begin in this space program are carried out in it. And that was the main emphasis. The second is practical implementation. After the end of the programs, we must report on what the funds were spent on, what was done, and we must show the Ukrainian society what results were achieved.

The launch of the Sich 2-30 satellite was the first for Ukraine in 10 years. Newly KB “Pivdenne” wrote that it is in energy-saving mode. Why so? And how much time do we have to avoid losing this satellite?

– IS abnormal situation, but she understood. Such situations are calculated at the stage of creating satellites, it is not critical. Now it is necessary to finish the flight tests, which last 2 months. After that, I am sure that the satellite will work normally. Specialists of KB “Pivdennoy”, specialists in the use of satellite communications, the National Center for the Use of Space Means conduct this work. Once completed, we will be able to provide you with more information. At this time, the work is being carried out, it is planned, so some time is needed for its completion.

What caused this abnormal situation? Is this a malfunction here on Earth?

– There were several factors. This is the location of the satellite itself during its launch, and the number of satellites that were launched during this mission, because this is a very large-scale mission. 105 satellites were during the mission “TRANSPORTER-3”. And this also introduced some peculiarities to the operation of the satellite.

If after two months this satellite does not come into contact, can we say that it is lost?

— Let’s wait for the specialists to complete their work and then we will give evaluations.

Is reorganization of KB “Pivdenny” and “Pivdenmash” planned?

— A decision was made to reorganize these enterprises into joint-stock enterprises, but in addition, financial support is needed. The implementation of this space program solves the issue of orders for “Pivdenmash”, KB “Pivdenne”, and other enterprises and cooperatives. These are reforms, optimization of the structure, and an increase in orders. These measures will allow enterprises to become financially stable.

SE “Pivdenmash” and KB “Pivdenne” are large enterprises that, in addition to performing space missions, are also employers. That is, these are economic donors. Even in the absence of a space program, in the absence of funding for the space industry, these enterprises provided a large amount of tax deductions, about 1 billion hryvnias, previously it was 1.5 billion or more, in the form of direct taxes, not counting the economic effect that the regions receive due to the creation of jobs and cooperation with other enterprises. That is, it is an economically very important tool for the region and the country as a whole.

Two years ago, the moratorium on private enterprises in the space industry was lifted. However, there is one large firm in Ukraine today — this one “Noosphere”. How does the state stimulate the private sector in the space industry of Ukraine?

— Legalization of activities in space makes it possible to create new startups. We, as a space agency, support this at the legislative level, and accordingly all issues of export control and other issues related to space activities, because this is an activity that is subject to regulatory control by the state, within the framework of international treaties that we have undertaken as a country

What is the current stage of development of the monthly program of Ukraine? And is it possible to include domestic developments in the “Artemis” program?

— We are negotiating with NASA. This week we will have another teleconference on this issue. A presentation of the space program in the White House regarding the possibilities of the space industry of Ukraine is already planned, specifically for the implementation of this direction — the inclusion of Ukraine in this cooperation, regarding the creation of a lunar settlement. That is, we are actively working in this direction. I believe that Ukraine will play a significant role in its implementation."We plan to create a constellation of spacecraft"— head of the State Space Agency TaftaiPhoto: Andriy Stasyuk, Society. Monthly program of KB “Southern”

That is, Ukraine cannot enter foreign markets without a space program?

— No, it is definitely possible, but for international cooperation, the existence of a space program is a signal of the stability of the space industry. We must understand that the space industry is one of the strategic industries. The emphasis on the part of the state leadership is very important here. There were meetings with the leadership of NASA, and thanks to this, many steps were organized regarding further cooperation with American partners. It helps a lot in our international contacts.

What is known

  • On January 13, 2022, at 18:51:58 Kyiv time, as a result of a cluster launch, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle launched the Ukrainian Sich-2-1 Earth remote sensing satellite into a calculated orbit.
  • On January 14, the Sich-2-30 satellite was successfully launched came out to contact the control center in Khmelnytskyi.
  • By data of the “Pivdenmash” enterprise, the total weight of “Sich-2-30” is 170 kilograms and 40 kilograms of payload. It is designed for obtaining digital images of the Earth’s surface in the visible and near-infrared ranges of electromagnetic wavelengths, as well as for monitoring the parameters of the Earth’s magnetosphere.

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