Ukraine Announces New Space Program

Politically, Ukraine is somewhat at a cross-roads, being pulled in one direction by its Russian-Soviet past and in the other direction by its Western EU-NATO neighbors. The 2004 "Orange revolution," which discarded the Kremlin’s favoured candidate, may have been the turning point.

Ukraine’s space program reflects Russia’s declining influence. First it was Ukraine’s agreement to participate in EU’s Galileo System (a system similar to GPS), not joining Russia’s developing Glonass system.

Now, Ukraine has announced an ambitious new 4-year independent space program. An English translation of a Ukranian news report explains:

The Cabinet of Ministers today at the session has affirmed the national target scientific and technical space program of Ukraine for 2008-2012. General Director of National space agency Yuriy Alekseev told journalists.

According to him, financing of the State program amounts UAH 1,5 milliard.

According to the program, in particular, Ukraine should launch two satellites of remote sensing of the Earth, to create a satellite of connection and to participate in tenders of satellites creation for the other countries.

“The satellite has been already made for Egypt, and in autumn it can be given to the customer,” Alekseev noted.

Also, according to Alekseev, the program foresees the training of Ukrainian specialists at the European space enterprises, “UNIAN” reports.

Russia’s WPS news agency (subscription only) has more on the satellites:

Two of the satellites are intended for remote Earth probing and the third is a communication satellite. General Director of the National Space Agency, Yury Alexeev, announced this after approval of the draft space program of the country for the next five years at a meeting of the government. The document makes provisions for active international cooperation including cooperation with Russia, European Union and the US. The costs of the program exceed $400 million and state financing will account for about $300 million of this amount.