Poland and Ukraine Look Into Space Collaboration [Space24]

12 lutego 2016, 09:37
Vega launch vehicle launch, with the upper stage propelled by the Ukrainian Juzhmash RD-868P rocket engine. Image Credit: ESA
Dnepr Launch Vehicle. Image Credit: Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5

Meetings between the representatives of the Polish Space Agency and the State Space Agency of Ukraine took place in Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. The purpose of these meetings was to establish cooperation in the area of the space technologies. Earth observation satellites, launch vehicles and scientific research have been considered to be the most promising fields for potential collaboration.

Meetings between the representatives of the Polish Space Agency and the State Space Agency of Ukraine took place in Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. The purpose of these meetings was to establish collaboration in the area of the space technologies. Earth observation satellites, launcher rockets and scientific research have been considered to be the most promising areas of potential cooperation. 

President of the Polish Space Agency, quoted by the Ukrainian media, stated that Poland is interested in the Ukrainian technologies, considering the Ukrainian expertise in the field related to the Earth observation satellites. The city of Dnepropetrovsk is a home for the headquarters of the Ukrainian Yuzhmash facility and Yuzhnoye Design Bureau. There, a meeting related to the scientific and technological collaboration regarding the launch vehicles took place. The Ukrainian facilities have also gathered considerable experience and expertise within that area. During the existence of USSR Dnepropetrovsk facility was manufacturing the ballistic missiles. Now it deals with production of the Zenith and Dnepr launch vehicles, based on the R-36M2 ICBMs. The plant also manufactures the engines for the European Vega rockets. The recent meetings between Poland and Ukraine primarily covered the cooperation within the framework of the European Ariane launch vehicle programme.

During the talks, the issue of bilateral collaboration within the scope of the Polish ESA membership was also mentioned, along with the “Horizon 2020” programme pursued by the European Union. Moreover, an idea emerged to create a joint working group that would deal with the space issues.

Collaboration between Poland and Ukraine in the area of space programmes was accelerated after an agreement was signed in Warsaw, on 20th April 2015, pertaining the research and usage of the outer space for peace purposes. The said memorandum of understanding was signed by the President of the Ukrainian Space Agency, Oleg Urskiy, and the President of POLSA, Marek Banaszkiewicz. The meetings, organized in February, constitute another important step towards reinforcement of the declared collaboration.

Ukraine is currently interested in looking for new markets, when it comes to the space sector, since no orders from Russia are received within that scope at the moment. According to the report published by the International Monetary Fund, the Ukrainian space industry which, up until recently, delivered components for the launch vehicles and satellites developed in Russia, has lost ca. 80% of the orders which translates into UAH 2 billion (70 million euros) loss, per annum.

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