Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Ukrainian Space Agency Issues Press Release About the Lybid-1 & Building Rockets for Canada

          By Chuck Black

The press service of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) has announced a meeting between SSAU head Pavlo Dehtiarenko and Canadian ambassador to the Ukraine Roman Waschuk on a topic of "mutual interest in the implementation of a potential of cooperation in the aerospace sphere."

If accurate, the "mutual interests" could certainly affect a variety of projects including the recent Maritime Launch Services (MLS) proposal to place a Ukrainian built Cyclone 4M commercial rocket launching facility in Nova Scotia and the Lybid-1 satellite, built several years back by Richmond, BC based Macdonald Dettwiler (MDA) under contract to the SSAU and with the help of Export Development Canada (EDC), which provided a $254.6Mln CDN loan under "Ukrainian government guarantees to finance the project in the summer of 2009," but which never really got around to being launched.

And the press release certainly does suggest that.
Ambassador Waschuk. Photo c/o Wikipedia.

But while it's likely a reasonably accurate representation of what the SSAU would like to see moving forward, only when the Ukrainian wish is combined with three Canadian dollars do you start to get a sense of its true value, which taken together adds up to only the cost of a large cup of coffee at Starbucks.

As outlined in the September 12th, 2017 Interfax Ukraine new agency post, "Ukraine, Canada start creating contract and legal base for developing cooperation in aerospace area," both sides have:
...pointed out the importance of creating the contract and legal base for promising partnership and supported the idea that the memorandum of understanding between SSAU and the Canadian Space Agency on cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space. 
At the meeting the sides also discussed urgent issues of the project being implemented with the participation of Ukraine and Canada and plans of promising cooperation on the global space market...
According to the e-mail:
Canada approved SSAU's measures to solve financial, organization and technical problems to complete the project on the creation of the National satellite communications system of Ukraine and the launch of the Ukrainian satellite Lybid. 
The creation of a launch complex in Canada with participation of private companies from the Ukrainian and Canadian space sector (has also been) determined as a priority direction for developing partnership in the aerospace area.
As for whether these meetings will have an real effect on Canadian/ Ukrainian cooperation, that's still up in the air. Certainly the Ukraine is hoping for the best although they might need Russian cooperation to move forward.

For more on the real situation behind the Lybid-1 satellite, check out the December 12th, 2016 post, "exactEarth, Lybid-1, the CSA (which Needs more Committees) and the Upcoming 2017 Earth Observation Summit."

For more on what it would actually take to build the MLS Cyclone 4M rocket and launch it in Canada, check out the September 08, 2017 post, "CATA Rage, Liberal Strategy, Space Advisory Board Tactics & Yuzhnoye Can't Manufacture Some Cyclone 4M Parts."
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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