The State Space Agency of Ukraine does not specialize in manned astronautical programs. It is the second of two direct Soviet space program descendants. The Ukrainian city of Dnipro, also known as the Rocket City, during Soviet period was one of the Soviet space rocket manufacturing centers, while cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv provided various other technological support. Those remnants of the Soviet space program in Ukraine were reorganized into own space agency. The agency does not have its own spaceport and until 2014, depended on the resources of the Russian Federal Space Agency (the primary inheritor of the Soviet space program).
Until December 9, 2010, the agency was known as Національне космічне агентство України, НКАУ, the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU)
Ukrainian spacecraft include a few kinds for domestic and foreign use and international cooperation. Ukraine has supplied Russia with military satellites and their launch vehicles, a unique relationship in the world.
Development of state policy concepts in the sphere of research and peaceful uses of space, as well as in the interests of national security;
Organization and development of space activities in Ukraine and under its jurisdiction abroad;
Contributing to state national security and defense capability;
Organization and development of Ukraine’s cooperation with other states and international space organizations.
NSAU is a civil body in charge of co-ordinating the efforts of government installations, research, and industrial companies (mostly state-owned). Several space-related institutes and industries are directly subordinated to NSAU. However, it is not a united and centralized system immediately participating in all stages and details of space programs (like NASA in the United States). A special space force in the military of Ukraine is also absent.
Development directions of space industry in Ukraine, 2000-2005
Space activities in Ukraine have been pursued over a 10-year span in strict accordance with National Space Programs. Each of them was intended to address the relevant current issues to preserve and further develop the space potential of Ukraine.
The First Program (1993–1997) was called upon to keep up the research and industrial space-related potentiality for the benefit of the national economy and state security as well as to be able to break into the international market of space services. The Second Program (1998–2002) was aimed at creating an internal market of space services, conquering the international space markets by presenting in-house products and services (including launch complexes and spacecraft, space-acquired data, space system components) and integrating Ukraine into the worldwide space community.
The National Space Program of Ukraine for 2003-2007 (NSPU), which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Parliament of Ukraine) on October 24, 2002, outlines the main goals, assignments, priorities, and methods of maintaining space activity in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers announced its plans on 13 April 2007 to allocate 312 million euros to the National Space Program for 2007-2011.
Scientific space research
Remote sensing of the Earth
Satellite telecommunication systems
Development of ground-based infrastructure for navigation and special information system
Space activities in the interests of national security and defense
Development of base elements and advanced space technologies
Development of research, test and production base of the space sector
Goals of the program
To develop a national system for Earth observation from outer space to meet the national demands in the social economic sphere and for security and defense purposes
To introduce satellite systems and communication facilities into the telecommunication infrastructure of the state
To obtain new fundamental knowledge on near-Earth outer space, the solar system, deep space, biological and physical processes and the microgravity condition
To create and develop techniques for space access with a view toward realizing national and international projects and to enable the home-made rocket to be employed on the worldwide market of space transportation services
To elaborate the advanced space facilities
To ensure the innovative development of the space sector in terms of improving its research, experimental and production basis
The agency is a minor descendant of the Soviet space program that was passed mostly to the Russian Federal Space Agency. The agency took over all the former Soviet defense industrial complex that was located on the territory of Ukraine. The space industry of Ukraine started in 1937 when a group of scientists led by Heorhiy Proskura launched a large stratospheric rocket near Kharkiv.
In 1954, the Soviet government transformed the car producer Yuzhmash (Dnipropetrovsk) into a rocket company. Since that time, the city of Dnipropetrovsk has been known in the Anglophone world as the Soviet Rocket City.
As of April 2009, the Ukrainian National Space Agency was planning to launch a Ukrainian communications satellite by September 2011 and a Sich-2 before the end of 2011.
National Space Facilities Control and Testing Center
Ukraine continues further development and modernization of launch vehicles that were created during the Soviet period primarily Cyclone and Zenith. There also was an attempt to redesign a former intercontinental ballistic missile as Dnepr rocket. Almost all its launch vehicles are heavily depended on Russian components.
During 1991-2007, a total of 97 launches of Ukrainian LV were conducted, including, but not limited to launches on the Sea Launch mobile launch pad. In 2006 Ukrainian launch vehicles accounted for 12% of all launches into space in the world.
Ukrainian companies Yuzhnoye Design Office and Yuzhmash have engineered and produced seven types of launch vehicles. Adding strapon boosters to launch vehicles may expand the family of Mayak, which is the latest launch vehicle developed.
The Svityaz, Oril and Sura aerospace rocket complexes (ASRC) is intended for launching of various spacecraft (SC) into circular, elliptic and high-altitude circular, including the geostationary (GSO), orbits. Svityaz ASC represents a unique system that allows launch of spacecraft without utilization of complicated ground infrastructure. The Svityaz is launched directly from a modified version of An-225 Mriya, a Ukrainian airplane and airplane carrier that is currently the largest one in the world. Modified Mriya that will be used to carry Svityaz has been designated a code of An-225-100.
The aircraft is equipped with special devices to secure the LV above the fuselage. The operators and onboard equipment are located in the pressure-tight cabins. The Svityaz LV is being created on the basis of units, aggregates and systems of Zenit LV. It consists of three stages of non-toxic propellants — liquid oxygen and kerosene. The launch vehicle is injected into the geostationary orbit using a solid-propellant apogee stage.
Sea Launch is joint venture space transportation company, partially owned by companies in Ukraine which handle operations for the National Space Agency. Sea Launch offers a mobile sea platform, used for spacecraft launches of commercial payloads on specialized Ukrainian Zenit 3SL rockets. The main advantage of the floating cosmodrome is its placement directly on the equator. It allows taking the greatest advantage of Earth's rotation to deliver payloads into orbit at low expense.
Within the framework of the project the space rocket complex was developed, which consists of four components:
spacecraft segment and
Sea Launch mothballed its ships and put operations on long-term hiatus in 2014.
Ukraine does not have its own spaceports, but leases elsewhere.
Leonid K. Kadenyuk, first astronaut from independent Ukraine
Prior to Ukraine's independence, several Ukrainians flew in space under the Soviet flag. Ukrainian Pavlo Popovych was the fourth cosmonaut in space, in 1962.
The first Ukrainian to fly in space under the Ukrainian flag was Leonid K. Kadenyuk on 13 May 1997. He was a payload specialist on NASA's STS-87 Space Shuttle mission. It was an international spaceflight mission, involving crew members from NASA (USA), NSAU (Ukraine) and NASDA (Japan).
A Message From Earth (AMFE) was sent by NSAU towards Gliese 581 c, a large terrestrial extrasolar planet orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581. The signal is a digital time capsule containing 501 messages.
^"The successful launch of European Vega launcher with Ukrainian upper-stage engine". State Space Agency of Ukraine. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
^"Successful launch of the Antares LV". State Space Agency of Ukraine. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
^"Из истории" [Of History]. Arsenalcdb.com.ua. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
^Russia, Kazakhstan to develop unique space system: "Ukrainian experts moved to develop the Svityaz system based on the An-225 Mriya (Dream) Cossack jumbo transport plane and the Zenit-2 rocket", "The Ishim complex will include two MiG-31I aircraft, a three-stage launch vehicle on a streamlined store between engine nacelles, as well as an Ilyushin Il-76MD Midas surveillance plane."
^Ukraine's government ready to reanimate Sea Launch project, Kyiv Post (May 27, 2010)
^Dnepr launches with Ukraine’s Sich-2 and several passengers, NASAspaceflight.com (August 17th, 2011)
^"Голова ДКАУ: Україна очікує підтвердження канадської MDA виконання зобов'язань за контрактом на створення і запуск супутника зв'язку "Либідь"". Інтерфакс-Україна (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2018-11-10.
^Ukraine plans to send research satellite to Moon in 2017, Kyiv Post (10 November 2011)
^Urusky appointed Ukraine's deputy PM, minister for strategic industrial sectors, UNIAN (16 July 2020)
^"Про звільнення Дегтяренка П. Г. з посади Голови Державного космічного агентства України". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
^"Про тимчасове покладення виконання обов'язків Голови Державного космічного агентства України на Міхеєва В. С." Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
^"Про призначення Усова В. В. Головою Державного космічного агентства України". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). January 24, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
^"Розпорядження Кабінету Міністрів України № 1432-р Про звільнення Усова В. В. з посади Голови Державного космічного агентства України". Website of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. 16 November 2020.
^"Розпорядження Кабінету Міністрів України від 16 листопада 2020 р. № 1433-р Про тимчасове покладення виконання обов'язків Голови Державного космічного агентства України на Лева М. О". Website of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. 16 November 2020.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Space launch vehicles of Ukraine.
English-language home page
Ukrainian space history on Astronautix.com encyclopedia
Ukraine's Space Program - article in Moscow Defense Brief
NASA, Ukraine Prepare Flights to Moon[permanent dead link], RedNova News
Ukrainian Rockets to Orbit U.S. Satellites, Novosti
Yuzhnoe SDO, major Ukrainian Space Technologies Design Bureau
Cosmos Agency — first private Ukrainian aerospace company