Ukraine is creating both military missile systems and rockets for peaceful space exploration, regaining its position in the sphere of rocket development. This was announced by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov.
“A few weeks ago, we reported on the successful launches of Ukrainian missiles at a test military site. On the 18th of October at 2:45am, a successful launch of the upgraded Antares-230 medium-class carrier rocket, carrying Cygnus cargo spacecraft, was conducted from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, USA,” Turchynov was quoted as saying.
Turchynov went on to say that the main developer of the launch vehicle is the US company, Orbital ATK. The main design of the first stage was created by Ukrainian company, Yuzhnoye State Design Office, as well as Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant in cooperation with a few other Ukrainian companies.
According to Turchynov, Ukrainian specialists had spent the last 18 months working on the development of the first stage of Antares, adapting it for use with the new engine. In 2014, after the carrier rocket exploded immediately after launch, it was decided that the Russian engine which had previously been used in the rocket needed to be replaced.
“The Ukrainian rocket specialists had a unique challenge. They had a very short time to ensure that the new engine could be adapted for use in the rocket which was designed to work with a completely different engine. They succeeded! The changes in the design of the rocket carrier have significantly improved its energy potential and cost effectiveness,” Turchynov said.
He believes that this shows that “Ukraine is regaining its position as a rocket state and therefore rapidly restoring its strategic position in the area of rocket development”.
“We are creating both modern military defense systems to protect our country and rockets for peaceful space exploration,” Turchynov concluded.