10:57 12.04.2017

Ukrainian satellite Lybid could be launched by late 2017 – acting SSAU head

Ukrainian satellite Lybid could be launched by late 2017 – acting SSAU head

The first Ukrainian telecommunications satellite Lybid build in international cooperation with participation of Canada and Russia could be placed into orbit in the fourth quarter of 2017, acting Head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) Yuriy Radchenko has said.

Assessing the situation with the implementation of the project on Channel 5 TV, he said that the implementation of the project was under a threat of a failure due to the annexation of Crimea and the loss of land infrastructure involved in the project by Ukraine. Taking additional financial liabilities, Ukraine has overcome force majeure: in 2014-2015 a new spacecraft control center was built on Ukraine's mainland.

"At present, the satellite is ready. The launch vehicle [for the satellite] is ready by 85%," Radchenko said, adding that Ukraine decided to expand the financing of the project by $17 million.

"The recent meeting in the NSDC [National Security and Defense Council] and in the government allows us saying that the financing of the program is increased," he said.

Radchenko said that the additional funds will be taken from leasing the resource of the satellite after its launch.

"Under the contract, Canada's MDA places the satellite to orbit and then transfers it to us for exploitation," he said, adding that the satellite, the launch vehicle and the launch are insured.

"We hope that the satellite would be launched in the fourth quarter," he said.

The press service of SSAU told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday that the issues of the implementation of the Lybid project would be discussed during a visit of Canada's MDA to Ukraine scheduled for April.

As reported, a contract for the construction of a national telecommunications satellite Lybid was signed by the SSAU and Canada's MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) in December 2009. The MDA is the head contractor under this project. The Lybid is based on the Express-1000NT platform, developed by Russia's Reshetnev ISS.

The Canadian export agency EDS provided a $254.6 million loan under the Ukrainian government guarantees to finance the project in the summer of 2009. Initially it was planned to put the Ukrainian satellite into orbit in 2012, later it was postponed to 2013, then to April 2014 and eventually to autumn 2016.

Since 2014 the satellite is stored at Reshetnev ISS in Krasnoyarsk (Russia).

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