SSAU seeks to prepare for launch of first Ukrainian satellite Lybid in 2017
The State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) expressed hope that the first Ukrainian communications satellite Lybid built in international cooperation with Canada and Russia could be launched in 2017.
The press service of the agency reported that the situation with the implementation of the project was discussed at a recent meeting of the SSAU.
Today the Ukrainian satellite Lybid has been assembled, tested and stored waiting for its shipment to the launch site.
"Due to annexation of Crimea force majeure for the land segment appeared. This resulted in a delay in the project schedule and the increase of the project cost. Force majeure has been reined in and SSAU jointly with the Ukrainian government are doing their best to prepare for the launch of the satellite Lybid in 2017," the agency said.
The state has already invested $335.4 million in the project, the press service said.
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 and then to April 2014.
Since 2014 the satellite is stored at Reshetnev ISS in Krasnoyarsk (Russia) and the uncompleted launch vehicle Zenit is stored at Pivdenne Machine Building Plant named after Makarov (Pivdenmash, Dnipro).
Today the Canadian partner is holding talks with Russia to get guarantees to launch the satellite.